Size: 90 x 90cm
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Commission work available
Darren was the first child to be born in the Wyndham Hospital in 1970. He grew up around Derby and Bidyadanga, south of Broome. These are his mother and grandmother’s traditional lands, which Darren is a custodian of. Darren was raised by his mother and stepfather, who are from the Warawa tribe in Derby.
Darren’s family spreads all along the saltwater country in the Kimberley region, and are all custodians of the land where the Wandjinas have been painted onto the rock walls for tens of thousands of years.
In this painting, Darren paints Wandjina Country. The center circle represents the meeting place in the Kimberly region. The “U” symbol represents the “lawman” sitting telling stories of the Wandjina. The lines represent the rivers and lakes around which the ceremony took place.
Wandjinas are only found in the Kimberley region (north-eastern Western Australia), nowhere else in Australia. The Wandjina is an important “Boss” spirit, meaning of the highest power. The Wandjina is often called the rainmaker and is seen bringing the clouds and lightning to the Kimberley.
The significance of the Wandjina story was shared by several language groups across the west and coastal areas of the Kimberley, including the Ngarinyin, Worrorra, and Wunambul people.
Wandjina is the most significant Creation Spirit, associated with rain and therefore the seasonal regeneration of the land and all-natural resources. The body of Wandjina is often shown covered with dots that represent the rainfall. The cyclonic Wet Season brings rain to the Kimberley, and elements of the torrential rains, lightning, and thunder are often included in the imagery around the head of the Wandjina. Ceremonial dances that pay homage to the Wandjina Rain Spirit can include headdresses that symbolically refer to lightning and thunder.