Artist: Jan Griffiths Goongaja


by Jan Griffiths Goongaja
60 x 60cm
Natural pigment on canvas


This painting is based on my mother's mother, Dinah, my grandmother. As a young girl she would go to Woorrilbem billabong to collect the waterlily flower right down to the roots and also mussels as bush tucker. My grandmother first saw a gardiya (white man) there and she ran and hid in the billabong. Scared and frightened she stayed very quiet until the station manager and tracker were out of sight.

The different coloured lily pads are my grandmother's emotions flowering through the billabong. The green lily pads are the original colour covering the history of my grandmother's story.  The straight lines represent the calm relaxing billbong before my grandmother entered the water.