Tapestry panel titled 'Ngak Ngak in Limmen Bight River Country', designed by Northern Territory artist Ginger Riley. It is the second panel of ten in the Federation Tapestry Suite woven by the Victorian Tapestry Workshop (known as the Australian Tapestry Workshop since 2010), to mark the Centenary of Federation in 2001.

'Ngak Ngak in Limmen Bight River Country' represents the dreamtime and the land before European habitation, and reminds us that Aboriginal people have been associated with the land of Australia for over 40, 000 years. Ginger Riley was born around 1937 in southeastern Arnhem Land. He grew up in the bush and intermittently went to school at the Roper River Mission, now called the Ngukurr Aboriginal community. Riley worked as a stockman and labourer from the 1950s to the late 1970s when he moved back to Ngukurr. Around 1987 he began to paint, and quickly established the pictorial style of landscape painting which has since earned him important recognition both locally and overseas. In 1997 he was awarded a major retrospective at the National Gallery of Victoria.

Riley's painting depicts his vision of his 'mother country', using an interconnected series of icons which include the white sea eagle Ngak Ngak, the dual serpent-creator Garmilal, the shark's liver tree, the Four Arches and the beautiful Limmen Bight River.

Before work commenced on this panel, the weavers completed a number of samples. These established a suitable warp setting which would allow for subtlety of detail, an appropriate approach to the colours in the work, and whether a border should be included or not. The samples were examined against the dark grey concrete Museum wall where the tapestry now hangs so the weavers could determine the intensity of the colour require to maintain the vitality of the design.

Physical Description

Rectangular tapestry of bold colouring - predominantly blue, orange, green, yellow and white. Depicts a vertical landscape that includes a blue sky, green and orange land, four trees, hills and a river. A white bird is featured in the mid ground. Two snakes slither across the lower edge. The name of the artist is woven in the lower right corner.

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