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Date: 1991
Overall: 155 x 710 x 260 mm, 2 kg
Medium: Wood, ochre
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Sculpture
Object No: 00015590
Place Manufactured:Northern Territory

User Terms

    Carved from a single piece of timber this sculptural piece represents a dolphin of northern Arnhem Land. The dorsal and two pectoral fins have been carved from separate pieces of wood and adhered in place. The carving has then been painted with a cross-hatched design in local ochres.
    SignificanceThis carved figurative sculpture is an expression of the artist interpreting a dolphin from his area of Maningrida in the Northern Territory.
    HistoryCarved figurative sculptures can be central elements in rituals and are associated with spirit and totemic beings connected to particular sites. Specific social groups or clans use these objects in ceremonies which can include dance and song where the object is carried or used as a focal point. They can also be an expression of the artist interpreting his or her land, everyday occurrences and specific animals endemic to their area.

    Different types of wood are used according to region. Ironwood is both heavy and hard, limiting the amount of detail that can be achieved which is compensated for by the very detailed painting that decorates the figure. Soft woods allow extensive incising. A complete section of the carving is painted with a solid colour and patterns are created by incising through the colour to the yellowish wood.
    Additional Titles

    Primary title: Dolphin carving

    Web title: Dolphin

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