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Rodney King Jungala / Creatures of the Dreamtime (A15539)
86cm x 50cm Acrylic on CanvasView more from artist
86cm x 50cm Acrylic on Canvas
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How Artworks Are Sent
Ochre / Kimberley artworks are shipped on canvas or linen, already stretched, ready to hang unless stated otherwise.
Acrylic artworks are shipped on canvas or linen un-stretched, rolled up in a cardboard tube unless stated otherwise.
These artworks will need to be stretched on a stretcher board before hanging.
This can be done by nearly any picture framer (highly recommended) or you can DIY if you’re confident in your handiwork.
There are numerous "how to" videos on YouTube showing you how to achieve this.
As a child, Rodney King Jungala lived with his mother and attended school in Katherine. He would spend his school holidays with his father in Ngukurr, east of Katherine. It was during these holiday visits that Rodney first began to paint, learning from artist Kenny Wark, who also taught him how to make didgeridoos.
Rodney spent his senior years of schooling in Adelaide and then spent two and a half years working as an apprentice carpenter. He returned to the NT to spend some time working in Bulman, Arnhem Land. He worked on building contracts and general maintenance, as well as working as a shop assistant in the general store. Rodney felt he could use his skills to help develop the community and this was a worthwhile time for him. In fact the time he spent there has influenced his style of painting today, as he paints the wildlife of the area, and the experiences which come with the bush lifestyle.
Rodney talks of having been brought up within a predominantly white cultural atmosphere. His mother didn’t want him to associate with traditional Aboriginal custom. He went to a ‘white’ school, and was encouraged to achieve his best within a white system. When Rodney was nine years old, he discovered that Aboriginal people were indigenous, which came as a big shock to a young boy who realised that he didn’t really know his own cultural background.
Rodney began painting seriously after he was encouraged by Bill Harney, an established Katherine artist and renowned didgeridoo marker, who taught him to paint and carve in the ‘old way’. He spent more time learning from older artists, Kenny Wark and also Jeffery Daly Waters.
Rodney has developed his own distinctive style, drawing from his determination to understand and follow the ways of Aboriginal tradition.
The Dreamtime relates to the period when the earth was just being formed, and Ancestral Beings walked among Aborigines, teaching them law and ceremony and the discipline which was to rule their lives. They could change their shape and become different creatures including possum, water goanna, crocodile and barramundi, or metamorphose into rocks, hills or other natural phenomena. All these creatures are subjects of song and dance Ceremonies telling of the deeds and adventures of these ancestors were also to be handed down in a series of ceremonies ruled over by one “boss man” who was to be the keeper of all the dreamings and totems which had been distributed among the people.
In the Dreamtime an Ancestral Being called Yingana came from across the sea to the shores of Arnhem Land, she had the ability, as had all Ancestral Beings, to change shape at will, and this was usually into that of a Rainbow Serpent, (often depicted as a large snake) so that she could travel long distances either underground or concealed by grass and bushes. Her son, Ngalyod who is the most important, often travelled throughout Arnhem Land creating many sacred sites including many billabongs near the Stone Country in Arnhemland.
A totem is a natural object, plant or animal that is inherited by members of a clan or family as their spiritual emblem. Totems define peoples’ roles and responsibilities, and their relationships with each other and creation. In some cases, the animal symbolized by the totem could not be eaten or only eaten during certain rituals.
Aboriginal art in Arnhem Land and throughout the Top End of Australia is commonly illustrated through designs and images of animals, plants, and landscape. These motifs commonly reflect the artists ancestral inheritance and their dreamings and are referred to as totems. Depending on where a person is from, they could have three or more Totems which represent their Nation, Clan and family group, as well as a personal Totem. Nation, clan and family Totems are predetermined, however personal Totems are individually appointed. Totems connect people through their physical and kin relatedness. Totems are still important today in Aboriginal culture and are still used as a way of continuing and maintaining connections with the land, the Dreamtime and their ancestors. At the time of birth, or just before the birth, a child is given totem(s).
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