Natural Ochres on Canvas
60 x 60 cm / Natural ochre and pigment on canvas
Birnoo Crocodile and Goanna Ngarrangarni
That’s an Alice Down Story, that’s Alice Down Hills, true story. That two hill on top of the hill again, and the thing like a flat, and that’s an old time, they call him Ngarrangarni (dreaming), that Country. And that crocodile and goanna, that two looking one another. That’s that hill, that’s their country. I bin go to that hill and have a look. I’ve seen that hill, that’s why I bin do that painting. And I bin do it the right way. Everytime, picnic time, we used to go there and he got that river come down. We used to go picnic there, looking for some really small fish. They used to get em with that netting, that spinifex, to catch them. That’s that place now.
That two hill, that crocodile and goanna, they looking at one another. That crocodile want to take em off that goanna’s head, and put it on his head. That goanna bin say “No, I can’t give you my head. You gotta have your own head.” They been nearly swap each other, but that goanna bin say “No, I can’t give you, you gotta have your own head.” That’s all.
The hills Gordon talks about are in his ancestral country Birnoo, which is known as Alice Downs. The Ngarrangarni (dreaming) for those hills tells the story of a crocodile who wanted to swap heads with a goanna, who refused his request.