Title: Battle of Dumbai
Medium: Art Notebooks
Size: 16x22 cm
Artist: Gordon Barunga
The cover of this blank notebook depicts an reproduction image of an artwork titled Battle of Dumbai,which was painted by known Aboriginal artist Gordon Barunga. The figures depicted represent the Wandjina's or Wondjina's. In Aboriginal mythology, the Wandjina were cloud and rain spirits who, during the Dream time, created or influenced the landscape and its inhabitants. When they found the place they would die, they painted their images on cave walls and entered a nearby waterhole. Today, certain Aboriginal people of the Mowanjum tribes repaint the images to ensure the continuity of the Wandjina's presence. The Wandjina paintings have common colours of black, red and yellow on a white background. They appear alone or in groups, vertically or horizontally depending on the dimensions of the rock, and can be depicted with figures and objects like the Rainbow Serpent or yams. Common composition is with large upper bodies and heads that show eyes and nose, but typically no mouth. Two explanations have been given for this: they are so powerful they do not require speech and if they had mouths, the rain would never cease. Around the heads of Wandjina are lines or blocks of colour, depicting lightning, clouds or rain. The Wandjina can punish those who break the law with floods, lightning and cyclones. The paintings are still believed to possess these powers and therefore are to be approached and treated respectfully. Each site and painting has a name.
If you would like to know more about Battle of Dumbai and the relationship with Aboriginal Art and culture, please read the following article: