"When we go out to cut, we’ll see a log on the ground. And we can just go and we can just picture that bird already. So then Harold says, “cut this, cut that”. And then when he takes it back, he just makes it the way he wants it to be… He does it with the grinder, you know, makes it really smooth… then we get the sandpaper and smooth it down, so it won’t be too rough.
I do the painting on them… and sometimes when I get tired my niece starts to [paint] too, you know, she helps me paint, we work together. And my granddaughter, she’s a little artist. Everyone’s doing art" ~ Irene Henry
- Cat No. IH-019-23
- Acrylic on ironwood (Erythrophleum chlorostachys)
This piece was carved by Harold Goodman and painted by Irene Henry. Irene and Harold are partners that live at the Kakadu Outstation of Kapalga. Irene’s family are from Tiwi islands, which are represented through her artistic narrative of painting.
“My cousin brother used to make bird’s, Roy’s dad used to make the Jabiru bird. Then Harold got the idea of doing birds. Birds plays an important role in Tiwi ceremony... Harold has to look at the tree first to see if it’s strong enough [for carving], you can tell when that stringy bark peels off, then you can see if it’s right to cut it and do carving.” – Irene Henry
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