Fish Dreaming Paintings

Aboriginal paintings of the fish from all regions of Australia, the most common species & the means of catching them with traps, nets & spears.


Birds and Fish by Jimmy Wululu

Jimmy Wululu  |  Birds and Fish

Jap 012148  |  lithograph  |  51 x 38 cm


Rainbow Serpent by Bruce Nabegeyo

Bruce Nabegeyo  |  Rainbow Serpent

Jap 010644  |  ochre on paper  |  77 x 57 cm


Freshwater Dreaming – Cat Fish by Sam Assan

Sam Assan  |  Freshwater Dreaming – Cat Fish

Jap 013450  |  acrylic on canvas  |  40 x 30 cm


Crocodile, Fish, Crayfish by Simon Lobo Badari

Simon Lobo Badari  |  Crocodile, Fish, Crayfish

Jap 010641  |  ochre on paper  |  153 x 102 cm


Goanna, Snake, Fish by Oenpelli - artist unknown

Oenpelli - artist unknown  |  Goanna, Snake, Fish

Jap 010645  |  ochre on paper  |  76 x 52 cm


Munja Fish by Mabel King

Mabel King  |  Munja Fish

Jap 008101  |  acrylic on canvas  |  106 x 88 cm


Waterbird, Fish, Stingray by Simon Lobo Badari

Simon Lobo Badari  |  Waterbird, Fish, Stingray

Jap 010639  |  ochre on paper  |  153 x 102 cm


Nudaik by Alick Tipoti

Alick Tipoti  |  Nudaik

Jap 008985  |  linocut- Hand coloured  |  68 x 40 cm


Ai Pugaik by Alick Tipoti

Alick Tipoti  |  Ai Pugaik

Jap 008987  |  linocut- Hand coloured  |  68 x 40 cm


Mimi Spirits Dancing by Edward Blitner

Edward Blitner  |  Mimi Spirits Dancing

Jap 007005  |  acrylic on canvas  |  109 x 97 cm


Saltwater Dreaming by Edward Blitner

Edward Blitner  |  Saltwater Dreaming

Jap 007111  |  acrylic on canvas  |  67 x 31 cm


Wandjina Dreamings by Donny Woolagoodja

Donny Woolagoodja  |  Wandjina Dreamings

Jap 007471  |  ochre on canvas  |  52 x 46 cm


Ngukurr Sunrise by Gweneth Blitner

Gweneth Blitner  |  Ngukurr Sunrise

Jap 012951  |  acrylic on canvas  |  120 x 60 cm


Mimi Catching Long Fish by Edward Blitner

Edward Blitner  |  Mimi Catching Long Fish

Jap 007110  |  acrylic on canvas  |  67 x 32 cm


Fish Egg Dreaming by Marcia Purdie

Marcia Purdie  |  Fish Egg Dreaming

Jap 011302  |  ochre on canvas  |  61 x 46 cm


Wapiew Kulal – Fish Rocks by Dennis Nona

Dennis Nona  |  Wapiew Kulal – Fish Rocks

Jap 008898  |  limited edition etching  |  110 x 68 cm


Jinang from the mainland – Mildjingi by Mick Magani

Mick Magani  |  Jinang from the mainland – Mildjingi

Jap 005900  |  bark  |  64 x 25 cm


Alawa Story by Willie Gudapi

Willie Gudapi  |  Alawa Story

Jap 012132  |  acrylic on canvas  |  128 x 84 cm

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Aboriginal paintings depicting fish are found from all regions of Australia and reflect the most commonly found species of fish from those locations. Fish are an important part of the food resources of Indigenous people and the means of catching them is also seen in the art. Fish traps were made from vines and fibre and placed across creeks and rivers. More permanent fish traps were made from stone embankments, which forced the fish into ever smaller ponds or narrow channels. Indigenous people in the north also used dugout canoes move through swamps and in the ocean to spear fish by hand from the canoe. People in Arnhemland distinguish between the freshwater locations for food and the saltwater locations.

Fish of all sorts were hunted – bream, cod, catfish, dhufish, barramundi, eels. Aboriginal people relied on their knowledge of waters and the life cycle of the fish to make successful hunts. Paintings depict the different types of fish and the method of hunting for them, including the making of nets and fish traps.

Fish paintings show the close bond between Aboriginal life and the food sources around them. The artists use their everyday experiences to make pictures of how life is lived in their communities.

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Artists who paint Fish: