Bark Painting (X-Ray Crocodile) – Arnhem Land
Medium: Tree bark, Natural earth pigments, Collected early 1940's
Dimensions: L. 42.25 x h. 9.5
Origin: Arnhem Land, Croker Island, Northern Territory, Australia
Provenance: James Pongrass Collection, Leo Fleichmann, Gallerie Primitif, Sydney, 1973
Exhibited: Private Museum, Xiamen, China 2011
I acquired this bark painting on October 27, 1988 from Leo Fleischmann of Galleris Primitif in Sydney, Australia. Attached is a letter of authenticity from the gallery.
"According to Dr. Ron Lambert (Australian Museum in Sydney, Dept. of Anthropology) in the late 1940's, some Malgu and Gunwinggu people on Croker Island stenciled birds, fish, kangaroos and crocodiles on barks and rocks, but only for a very short period, and this technic disappeared as sudden as it came into existence. The reason to dis-continue painting with stencils are open to speculation. Probably there were a few poor hunting seasons which were blamed on the paintings. What-ever, only a few paintings from that period and technic survived.