By Chern’ee Sutton
Age – 22 years
Size – 3 panels at 91cm wide x 183cm high each panel
Medium – 3D acrylic and raised acrylic on canvas
Fresh, Salt Water Dreaming - Inyalngu, Milyuka Kuu Ritjinguthinha
This painting is called “Inyalngu, Milyuka Kuu Ritjinguthinha” which means “Fresh, Salt Water Dreaming” in the Kalkadoon language.
This story is as old as time itself and is a creation story from the beginning of time. Long, long ago Kurityityin flew to the top of a hill and started to kick up the red dust over and over again calling to all the animals to rise up out of the ground and go forth and eat the grass and leaves and to live life on the land, all the animals rose from the dust and emerged from the ground to start life and it was then that they spread throughout the country.
In the beginning in Kalkadoon country there was no water, there was no rain and no waterholes for the animals to drink from and they became thirsty for water as the grass and leaves could not quench their thirst. Some of the animals did not know what to do and they went back to the top of the hill from where they came and began to dig and dig and dig. After much digging and frustration they had made an enormous hole in the ground from the mountain and still having no water they began to fight with each other with ilipari the lizard biting all who came near to him.
Kurityityin was disgusted to see the animals fighting over and over again after giving them life and it was then that she spoke to Yaruwala kuntarra the rainbow serpent and told of the animals bickering and fighting and especially that of ilipari. Yaruwla Kuntarra was so upset to hear about the animals fighting that she began to cry and cry filling the enormous hole in the ground with rain. She continued to cry until the newly formed waterhole began to overflow and then run with the first river, which swept all of the quarrelling animals downstream and out to the sea and Yaruwala Kuntarra then turned the land animals into sea creatures.
Yaruwala Kuntarra then spoke to the sea life and told them that this was their new home and they needed to learn to live together with respect and love and to treat each other as equals. She then told ilipari that because he was the reason that the animals started to fight that he must remember his past over and over again as the barramundi. To this day when the flood waters come ilipari must again swim downstream over and over again from the fresh water to the sea as the barramundi, all the other sea animals now live together with respect for each other and in harmony.