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Tiger Shark

Date: 1989
Overall: 175 x 587 mm, 0.8 kg
Medium: Wood, natural pigment.
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Sculpture
Object No: 00005991
Place Manufactured:Aurukun Mission

User Terms

    A wooden sculpture of a tiger shark by Rex Walmbeng of the Wik-Ngatharra at Aurukun on western Cape York Peninsula.
    A single piece of wood has been carved to represent a tiger shark with the fins and tail carved separately and added on later. The work was then painted white and decorated with stripes.
    SignificanceThis carving is an expression by the artist interpreting an aspect of his country of Aurukun, western Cape York Peninsula, Queensland.
    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: Tiger shark

    Web title: Tiger Shark

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