Njarlkan (Archer Fish)
Njarlkan (Archer Fish)


Njarlkan (the Archer Fish, Toxotes Chartareus) spits a stream of water in order to knock its prey into the water, then eats them. It can shoot down insects up to a metre and a half away. Njarlkan is the Kunwinjku term for the fish, whereas in Kuninjku (the Eastern dialect) it is known as djoloborn. It is a whitish colour, with six or seven dark blotches along the dorsal (top) side. In Kunwinjku culture this fish is associated with the Yirridjdja patrimoiety.
Kunwinjku people eat njarlkan. It can be speared with djalakirradj (a three-pronged fish spear) and then cooked on the coals of a fire.

Nawu njarlkan nakka djenj namak yerrih bu ngarringun. Njarlkan karri kore mankabo dja manwanjdjad. Karrire kore mankabo karrinan njarlkan kare wanjh karridanjbun djalakkiradj karrikan karrikinje kore kuwilk kuyirrke kore kunak. Njarlkan nayahwurd djenj yiman kakukyime burd.

Size 41 x 61 cm | Medium Paper | Catalogue # 605-22 | Year 2022

1 in stock

Artist  Shaun Namarnyilk

Shaun Namarnyilk is the son of Rita Nadjongorle and Bundy Namarnyilk. Shaun is an experienced artist, tour guide, musician and storyteller. His aesthetic continues to develop, drawing on the ancient rock art stories and styles of Injalak Hill and other rock art sites around Western Arnhem Land. Shaun has also worked as a ranger. While caring for country as a ranger Shaun has had access to many remote and inaccessible rock art sites that few people have had the privilege of visiting in thousands of years. Shaun is inspired by the ancient knowledge and aesthetics of his ancestors to create remarkable contemporary paintings that span subjects from traditional knowledge and sacred spirit beings to current affairs like the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the community of Gunbalanya, as well as the diverse challenges and benefits that living in a remote community presents. Shaun mixes coloured pigments and ochres to create backgrounds which reflect the surface of the rock itself. He is developing the West Arnhem ‘x-ray style’ technique, leaving his canvas out in the rain and continues to build layers, giving his artworks the appearance of the ancient rock art.

One of his grandfather’s is Djawida Nadjongorle, and other one is Spider Namirrikki, along with Jimmy Namarnyilk.

Shaun has previously worked as a ranger, caring for the Stone Country of West Arnhem Land.


further details

Size 41 x 61 cm
Medium  Paper
Catalogue # 605-22
Year 2022