Coral Reef

Yondee Shane Hansen

Artwork Year



78 x 163 cm


acrylic on linen


In this painting Yondee Shane Hansen depicts the coral reef in order to indicate the traditional uses of this natural resource employed by Aboriginal people.

The coral reef is important to the ecosystem of the oceans, as it protects and preserves fish, acting as a kind of nursery for young fish as they grow. It also relates to the Whale Dreaming story of the south-west, where the Dreaming or Creation story follows the locations of the reef.

Aboriginal people fished on the reefs during low tides, using spears and nets. Bigger fish could be trapped in the coral pockets during the high tide and then become stranded as the tide went out.

People would also use the coral in binding for spears and other weapons. It was crushed and mixed with blackboy gum, ash from the fire, and kangaroo dung. Different tools were made using these materials.

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