This painting is called Matjin Thurruun in the Kalkadoon language means “Black Bird” and this 3D painting is my interpretation of the black bird.
Long, long ago all birds were black and had no colours and all looked the same except for their shape and size. Even though they looked the same they were all different in the way they acted to each other and what they ate. Wakarla the crow was a very large bird who had no respect for any of the other birds and would often steal their eggs to feed himself or his family. He was continually fighting with the other birds as he was very large and would often leave his nest and young unguarded to go and steal eggs with his wife.
One day when Wakarla was out looking for food with his wife they noticed Matjin Thurruun had just laid some eggs and was proudly sitting on them so Wakarla swooped down and started to attack Matjin Thurruun who desperately tried to protect her eggs but was knocked to the ground. When she returned to her nest she was heartbroken to find all of her eggs had been stolen by Wakarla to feed his young babies and she began to cry. She cried all night long and the next day while she was still crying Kuu the rain spirit began to cry as well and the rain got heavier and heavier. When Unungkati the wind spirit saw the rain spirit crying she too was sad and began to blow harder and harder. The wind blew so strongly that Matjin Thurruun was blown from her nest and knew she must find shelter to stay safe and she then spotted a cave and flew into it. While she was taking shelter there she could hear young babies crying for their mother and realised that it was Wakarla the crows babies crying out for help and that crow and his wife were again out looking for eggs. Black bird could not blame the baby crows for their parents actions and so she flew up to their nest and one by one she took them to cave where they were safe from the wind.
When the rain and wind spirits saw black birds selfless act they stopped crying and blowing and it was when Yaruwala the rainbow appeared that black bird heard a voice speaking to her. The voice said “because your heart is like mine and so pure fly up to me as I have a gift for you”. Black bird then flew up to Yaruwala the rainbow and when she did this she was magically turned to the beautiful rainbow lorikeet so everyone can now see she is as beautiful on the inside and she is on the outside.
By Chern’ee Sutton
Age – 15 years.
Size – 121cm wide X 40cm high
Medium – 3D Acrylic and textured acrylic on canvas.