Bush Tucker at Limmen Bight - Danny Riley
Bush Tucker at Limmen Bight - Danny Riley 201 -19
Acrylic on Canvas 53 x 54 cm
Danny paints his totems - Stringray, Freshwater Cray and Barracuda are swirling in space sometimes with mangrove trees, the Maria Lagoon from his uncle's land, and also very often a hill which is a local landmark and an important cultural icon.
The work is full of his position as a Marra man and is almost always rooted in Limmen Bight country. In 2002 Danny Riley, upon the death of his uncle, Ginger Riley Munduwalawala, inherited an old shack on Limmen Bight Country in the Gulf of Carpentaria. During the last part of their lives, both Marra men painted at the shack, situated at Maria Lagoon (Wamungu), their rich imaginative worlds reflecting an integration of intimate knowledge of the multiple complexities of their lands, including kinship with animals that live there, and the artists’ responsibilities as custodians, embedded in ancestral connectivity and relationship.
Custodianship is central to the relationship to land, through inherited rights and responsibilities (Caruana 2012 14-15), where practice is embedded in spiritual purpose (Pascoe 2019, 127).
When Danny inherited the shack at Maria Lagoon he used it as the site for his own artistic exploration. What came next was a period of prolific painting until he died in 2007. Throughout this period Danny’s preoccupation was with the aquatic animals with whom he shared his country. Knowledge of these animals is based in keen observation, an intimacy generated through daily interaction and custodial relationship.