This work is number nineteen in the 2017-2018 project Dear Gilbert,…. Song for the Ichthyologist, which forms twenty limited editions and four unique works. Strawman or Blackmast, (Craterocephalus stramineus) is a lovely little fish with a distinct black dorsal fin, which can be found in the Katherine River in the Northern Territory.
The Latin stramineus means straw-coloured, hence Gilbert P Whitley’s naming of the fish as such. Whitley’s entertaining description of the Strawman appeared in his 1964 guide, Freshwater Fishes of Australia and formed part of the creation of this image.
Jacqueline F Gribbin
Relief block courtesy of the Australian Museum