Etching with soft ground merrepen twine (background plate)
‘One day my grandfather got up real early to go out hunting. He went out in his canoe; he was hunting for magpie geese. In the late afternoon while he was out still in his canoe collecting the magpie geese, a big storm came.
My grandfather got really frightened because the wind blew so hard, the rain was so heavy and there was lightning and loud sounding thunder. He told my grandmother “I’m not that kind of person who is easily gets scared.
After the storm had passed he walked home and as he got near he saw my grandmother and called out to her. He wanted her to bring him a pair of trousers. She went over to him and handed him the trousers, she aske What happened to you? He didn’t answer. They went back and sat down and my grandfather told this story.
In the middle of the storm I fell out of my canoe and into the water, I thought that a rainbow serpent came and surrounded me and tipped my canoe over. I got really frightened because I thought I did something that was not pleasing the ancestor spirits, as I swam back to the bank; by this time the rain had stopped. As soon as I stood up and looked up I saw a rainbow. While my grandfather was telling this story to my great grandmother she started giggling. She knew that there was going to be a grandchild and that grandchild was my mother. All the things that he had with him went under water, his gun, axe, knife and even his clothes. When my mother was a bit older she was told this story by my grandfather’.
Kieren Karritpul © Merrepen Arts 2016
This etching was made as part of a print workshop held at Merrepen Arts in March 2016 with master print maker Basil Hall and facilitated by Nomad Art Productions, Darwin. Ten artists participated in the week-long workshop.