Freshwater Scene (Barramundi, Water and Water Lily)

The subject of the painting are three of the fish and reptiles found in freshwater rivers and billabongs in the artist’s country. They are a major source of food for the Kunwinjku people who live in and around Oenpelli in western Arnhem Land. The namarnkol or barramundi is the renowned game fish of the Top End. They grow to extraordinary sizes and are excellent eating. The namarnkol can be found in saltwater as well as freshwater billabongs and rivers and are most frequently caught in the late wet season and early dry. They eat smaller fish, weeds and freshwater crustaceans. The water goanna is burarr and lives in and around freshwater eating fish, reptiles and eggs. Borlokko the water python is a reptile that is also common throughout the wetlands. A large water python is considered good eating. The animals are painted with mandem the waterlily and other water plants which are found in many waterways and provides food for humans and animals.