"This painting is called ‘Platypus Story’, in my Grandfather’s language; Guri Duri: the Platypus.
You can see at the top, the circles, the life force and the green of the rainforest and you have the mist of the rain in the rain forest and if you look hard you can see the women are collecting the food source along the creek beds and they’re digging up the wild yams and you can see them carrying the food in the coolamons and one woman kneeling and digging up the wild yams and one mother with a little dilly bag and her little son coming along collecting the food. You can also see the sand along the river bank and we know that its fresh water because we only have Guri Duri the Platypus who only lives in fresh water and again the circles are the life force of the water.
The story about Guri Duri helps us to remember the marriage rules because in our culture we had no inbreeding whatsoever until the European arrival. Marriage laws were very strictly set. So in the dreaming, stories are passed on using different things so we remember. Guri Duri came about by breaking the laws of marriage.
The little wild duck along the riverbank fell in love with the little rat-tailed wallaby – two different oddities – they could not be together but they ran away and they mated.
The little duck lay two eggs, (the Platypus usually lays two eggs, sometimes one, sometimes three but normally its two eggs) then out of the egg came Guri Duri. To show respect for the mother, it has a bill like a duck, web feet like a duck, lays eggs like a duck and to show respect for the father it has fur, it can go on the land, it can burrow in to make it’s tunnels and it also has a little membrane where it suckles its young; so the two have become one.
So what happens? Guri Duri knew that the law was broken by mating and having these little creatures. So that’s why they’re very hard to see, you’ve got to look for them and they come out in the shadowy places because of the shame they had brought upon them by the breaking of that law of marriage."
- Uncle Colin Jones
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Canvas Prints- Available in three sizes, artwork is commercially reproduced on a cotton-blend (non-archival) quality canvas using latex inks.
- Please note: Canvas prints are not stretched / mounted and are posted out rolled up in cylinder tubes to allow for safe delivery.
- Preview photos are indicative of approximate sizing only.
- All canvas prints are printed with an additional 50mm bleed to accommodate any framing and stretching.