Indigenous Canvas Painting - Mimi Spirit & Crocodile

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TITLE: Mimi Spirit & Crocodile


Region: Roper River, East Arnhem Land

Language: Ngardi

Medium: Acrylic on Canvas

Completed: 7 June 2019

Dimensions: H127cm x W53cm

Stretched on frame: NO

Artwork title – There are rock paintings of Mimi Spirits in Arnhem Land in the NT of Australia that date back as far as 50,000 years ago.

In the Dreamtime Mimi Spirits were small human like beings, with thin elongated bodies. They were so thin and light a strong wind could blow them over, so they usually spent most of their time living in the rock crevices of the Escarpments.

The Mimi Spirits tamed the land animals, caring for them like pets. It is not unusual for a Mimi painting to depict them with their pet.

The Mimi’s taught the Aboriginal people laws and customs along with many practical skills like, hunting, how to prepare meat, how to control fire, painting skills and how to paint.

Without a written language, painting was the only way in which the history and religion of the tribe could be passed down, thereby ensuring that future generations would know of the deeds of these Ancestral Beings who walked the earth in the beginning of time.

 Biography: Les was born and grew up near Penrith, NSW. His parents and older brother were moved to Mulgoa Mission from Groote Eylandt after the bombing of Darwin in 1941 during WWII.

Les moved back to Darwin in 1971 as he felt it was important to reconnect with the country from which his family had been dispossessed. It was there that he sought permission and guidance from the Ngardi elders and began his career as an artist. His family returned to Ngukurr one year later.

Les is an accomplished painter nationally and internationally and has been a Cultural Adviser for over 35 years. 

Les has also mastered the didgeridoo, playing at the Opening Ceremony of the Rugby League World Cup Quarter Finals in Darwin 2017 and at the Opening Ceremony of the Commonwealth Games at The Gold Coast in 2018.

Artwork can be posted and protected in a postal tube