"This painting is about daga collecting. Go out in the bush the man hunting for birds the women getting all the bush food like lille root, mussel, things for the day to eat, day after day. This place here Yulu Billabong. This is my uncle, and all the ladies, all my aunties and grandmother, and mum getting all the bush tucka and when the men get all the tucka all birds and the lillie roots and they go back they sit down and share with other different family members and having a lovely daga. You get together and talk and tell that story of Country when they come back." - Rhonda Duncan
Urapunga is a small Aboriginal community nestled between the Roper and Wilton Rivers, below the southern border of Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory. The Ngalakgan People have lived on and cared for the area, including Urapunga, since time immemorial. Their custodianship is present in the landscape, in the burial caves and rock art shelters, the cultivated Country and living descendants spread between Ngukurr, Urapunga and beyond.
Artist Rhonda Duncan comes from a long linage of artists and masters in traditional weaving, painting, and carving. Rhonda’s loves to create pieces that capture stories of Urapunga Country, places, animals, culture, family and how people live on Country.
This collection has come to Rhonda in a series of dreams. When Rhonda is sleeping, she sees an old lady in a vision, her grandmother who was a storyteller, who used to teach her a lot about culture and the land, and that everything living things in mother nature, the animals, trees, plants, flowers are a valuable market in the bush, and everything has a meaning that is very strong.
“That old lady grabs all the paint, with her hands and throws it on that flat rock and all of a sudden, the picture automatically coming out. I see this how she do in my dream, and I put it in my head and every time I get up I just capture the painting how the old lady shows me.” – Rhonda Duncan.
This is the second exhibition for Rhonda Duncan, supported by not-for-profit organisation Circulanation. Together their goal is to create a sustainable art and cultural enterprise, to share and celebrate culture, and provide economic prosperity for future generations.
RHONDA DUNCAN | 'Food Hunting' | 2022 | Acrylic paint on canvas | 120 x 70 cm
Courtesy of the artist and Circulanation.