Dung Dung and Nardi make all the pigments: red, yellow, black and white.
They bring the law to the people through initiation.
Colors from the earth are ground in stone mortars, mixed with spinifex wax
and animal fat, making beautiful paint for the body, for the mind, for the
thousands of galleries, still glowing with light and wisdom.
So what of these paintings, these beings?
We pass through a window of rock
where brolgas, emus, cranes hold up the walls.
Red outlined white, mulberry paired with deep ochre,
black holds the center and defines a panoply of figure and ground.
I can see fresh white finger marks drawn across the rock surface.
Beneath are faded red ghostly figures. What happens when you place
fine red lines across an older pale figure? Renewal is the intention;
the story continues from the trackways and maburn markings below to the
small grey bird beings, enigmatic dilly bags, rayed headresses,
delicate row of flying foxes, hanging below a step in the rock.
A new site-unmarked, unrestored, unloved.
The paint is faded, disappearing; photography is difficult.
Collecting images at sites with camera and notebook is like some sort of visual harvest.
The question is, how to digest, how to transform, how to experience without the
help of those creator beings, old Nardi from the sky and Dung Dung from the earth?
I imagine collecting pigment, making paint and covering this tired body with
glorious color and pattern. And from within will come a song supported by
breath and blood. The birds will respond with their own chorus
and the world will come round right.