- Medium: Acrylic on pre-stretched lightweight canvas
- Year: 2023
- Size: 60 x 78 cm
- Artist skin name: Nakangila
- Clan: Djalama
- Born: 1976
- Language group: Kunwinjku
- Community: Gunbalanya (Oenpelli)
Kinga, the saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) is a highly respected and feared animal, associated with many creation sites (Djang or Dreaming) in West Arnhem Land. In the past it was also hunted for food. Kinga can travel in salt water or fresh water, and often travel long distances between river systems. Kinga make their nests in the long grass or forest areas close to rivers, billabongs and water holes. These are piles of mud and vegetation where they lay their eggs. They are very aggressive around their nests.
“We have two types of crocodiles – “kumoken” and “kinga”. Kumoken is the long nosed crocodile, different from the short nosed kinga (saltwater crocodile). Kumoken is the quiet (non-aggressive) one.”
Kunwinjku art is part of the oldest continuous art tradition in the world. Ancestors of today’s artists have been painting the rock walls of West Arnhem Land for tens of thousands of years. The traditional palette of white, red, yellow and black comes from the ochre that naturally occurs in the region, although contemporary artists sometimes choose to paint in acrylics as well. Kunwinjku artists famously paint using either the traditional rarrk hatching technique, or the more contemporary and complex cross hatching technique which has been adapted from ceremonial painting. These lines are carefully painted using a manyilk, which is a piece of sedge grass shaved down until only a few fibres remain.
Lawrence Nganjmirra is the son of prominent painter Robin Nganjmirra (dec) and the prolific weaver Clara Nganjmirra (dec). He received early recognition of his talent as a painter, winning the 1993 Youth Prize in the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award Exhibition. Since then he has continued to exhibit regularly and develop his subject repertoire and style. Lawrence Nganjmirra is known for ambitious bark paintings and large scale works on Arches paper, as well as lorrkon (ceremonial log coffins). His works often relate to traditional hunting practices and the fauna of West Arnhem Land, all painted in his bold yet sensitive and harmonious style.