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Binygurr Wirrpanda Ivan, Dhuruputjpi, 72x38cm Bark
  • Binygurr Wirrpanda Ivan, Dhuruputjpi, 72x38cm Bark
  • Binygurr Wirrpanda Ivan, Dhuruputjpi, 72x38cm Bark
  • Binygurr Wirrpanda Ivan, Dhuruputjpi, 72x38cm Bark
  • Binygurr Wirrpanda Ivan, Dhuruputjpi, 72x38cm Bark
  • Binygurr Wirrpanda Ivan, Dhuruputjpi, 72x38cm Bark
Binygurr Wirrpanda Ivan, Dhuruputjpi, 72x38cm Bark
Binygurr Wirrpanda Ivan, Dhuruputjpi, 72x38cm Bark
Binygurr Wirrpanda Ivan, Dhuruputjpi, 72x38cm Bark
Binygurr Wirrpanda Ivan, Dhuruputjpi, 72x38cm Bark
Binygurr Wirrpanda Ivan, Dhuruputjpi, 72x38cm Bark

Binygurr Wirrpanda Ivan, Dhuruputjpi, 72x38cm Bark

$789.00
  • Aboriginal Artist - Binygurr Wirrpanda Ivan
  • Community - Yirkala
  • Homeland - Dhuruputjpi
  • Aboriginal Art Centre - Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka Centre
  • Catalogue number - 2364/19
  • Materials - Earth pigments on Stringybark
  • Size(cm) - H72 W38 D0.6  
  • Postage variants - Artwork posted flat and ready to hang with a metal mount for stability
  • Orientation - As displayed

The land portrayed is the Dhudi Djapu clan estates around the meeting of the Dhuruputjpi River and the Yalata floodplain. It is a coastal area, this Dhudi Djapu homeland, that has territory leading up a river through plains country behind the beach. The plain is tidal and during the wet seasons, it is flooded by the rains and tidal surge creating areas of brackish water. During the dry season, the grass and black earth dry out. Then the fires come, turning a swamp into a huge plain of cracked black earth. Freshwater springs dot this sun-baked plain forming small islands of vegetation and as Rarrandada (the hot time) builds the thirsty birds come to these sacred springs in their thousands. The noise of the guḏurrku or dhaŋgultji (brolgas) and gurrumaṯji (magpie geese) is deafening, the mud scored with their tracks and the sky dark with the flocks of wheeling birds. The dhaŋgultij (Brolga) is depicted in this painting.

In Ancestral times, activities of the Djaŋ’kawu took place here. The Djaŋ’kawu - the Dhuwa moiety Creator Beings, in naming this country for the Dhudi Djapu, dug waterholes by plunging their sacred digging sticks in the ground creating waterholes as they did. Freshwater sprung from these wells as did a sacred goanna, a manifestation in some circles of the Djaŋ’kawu themselves. Also on the wet clays around the wells, the goanna observed the footprints of Daŋgultji the Brolga. The freshwater of the Dhuruputjpi River represented by Darraŋgi an endemic water weed which grows here reduced to miny’tji or sacred clan design. This area is associated with the ancestral shark being, Mäna. The Ancestral shark with the generic name of Mäna travelled country belonging to various Dhuwa clans who share ritual songs of his journey. His travels started in Dhuwa country for the Djambarrpuyŋu where he lived at Gurala. A Yirritja Ancestor called Murriyana and his wives came to hunt this place. The women when out to collecting oysters saw the shark with a special name of Dhakamawuy. The hunter speared the Shark, wounding him. Mäna left the country to travel an epic journey which is sung and at times reenacted by Dhuwa clan participants in ceremony.

He travelled, as great Creator Ancestors do, underground to surface through water at various points of significance in north east Arnhem Land. At one such place in Yirritja land near Gäṉgaṉ he “heard the water coming through”. Mäna decided to leave this place and water for his waku (important kin relationship to the opposite moiety through a close female) he re-emerged not so far away at a place named Wandawuy #1, where he hit his head on a rock that marks this spot today. This is spoken of as Mäna transferring some power to the rock hence this place. Mäna moved on, as he had too many other places and on to many more including the islands of Groote and surrounds. His resting place, however, is this area of freshwater belonging to the Dhudi-Djapu clan. The waters of the great Wayawu river that usually are spoken of with a Manggalili/Yirritja clan reference ran into this place Rinydjalngu, so then the Shark, imbuing ownership to the Dhuwa. This is made clear by understanding that the sacred clan design woven into this panel represents the power of Gunduynguru in the freshwater belonging to the Dhudi - Djapu.

In many ways, the harvesting and material production to create bark paintings is an art in itself. The bark is stripped from Eucalyptus stringybark. It is generally harvested from the tree during the wet season. Two horizontal slices and a single vertical slice are made into the tree, and the bark is carefully peeled off. The smooth inner bark is kept and placed in a fire. After firing, the bark is flattened and weighted to dry flat. Once dry, the bark becomes a rigid surface and is ready to paint upon.

Collecting Barks in Yirkala

Djawakan Marika, Yilpirr Wanambi, Wukun Wanambi and Nambatj Munu+ïgurr Harvesting stringybark for artists Photo credit: David Wickens

Harvesting barks for artists to paint in Yirkala

Wanapa Munu+ïgurr, Yilpirr Wanambi and Wukun Wanambi harvesting stringybark. Photo credit: David Wickens

Firing a bark ready for artists to paint in Yirkala

Wanapa and Nambatj Munu+ïgurr firing a bark to start the flattening process. Photo credit: David Wickens

Arnhem Land paintings are characterised by the use of fine crosshatched patterns of clan designs that carry ancestral power: the crosshatched patterns, known as rarrk in the west and miny’tji in the east, produce an optical brilliance reflecting the presence of ancestral forces.

These patterns are composed of layers of fine lines, laid onto the surface of the bark using a short-handled brush of human hair, just as they are painted onto the body for ceremony.

Aboriginal Artists, Rerrkiwaŋa Munuŋgurr painting her husbands design Gumatj fire or Gurtha.

Rerrkiwaŋa Munuŋgurr painting her husbands design Gumatj fire or Gurtha. Photo credit: Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka Centre



The artist’s palette consists of red and yellow ochres of varying intensity and hues, from flat to lustrous, as well as charcoal and white clay(pictured above). Pigments that were once mixed with natural binders such as egg yolk have, since the 1960s, been combined with water-soluble wood glues.

Naminapu Maymuru White collecting gapan white clay used for painting.

Naminapu Maymuru White collecting gapan white clay used for painting. Photo credit: Edwina Circuitt

 

Binygurr is the son of Buwawitj. His deceased father Mulayal #2 is the eldest brother of living elders Dhukal and Manman Wirrpanda. Binygurr’s father Mulayal #2 (1946 -1980) was the eldest of four sons of the great warrior Djuŋgi. Djuŋgi’s father was the infamous Dhakiyarr who disappeared in questionable circumstances after his release from Fannie Bay Gaol after he speared Constable McColl in the early 30’s on Woodah Island. Binygurr was brought up at his ancestral homeland of Dhuruputjpi. He began to paint for the art centre in 2005 as the ‘Young Guns’ exhibition was being put together. In the following decade, he concentrated upon his ceremonial responsibilities and then moved to his wife's homeland of Birany on the East coast of the Miwatj region. This coincided with a more prominent ceremonial role and a return to art production. His ironwood sculpture and distinctive renditions of Dhudi Djapu law are noticeably individual and high quality.

Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka Centre is the Indigenous community-controlled art centre of Northeast Arnhem Land. Located in Yirrkala, a small Aboriginal community on the north-eastern tip of the Top End of the Northern Territory, approximately 700km east of Darwin. Our primarily Yolŋu (Aboriginal) staff of around twenty services Yirrkala and the approximately twenty-five homeland centres in the radius of 200km.

In the 1960’s, Narritjin Maymuru set up his own beachfront gallery from which he sold art that now graces many major museums and private collections. He is counted among the art centre’s main inspirations and founders, and his picture hangs in the museum. His vision of Yolŋu-owned business to sell Yolŋu art that started with a shelter on a beach has now grown into a thriving business that exhibits and sells globally.

Buku-Larrŋgay –  “the feeling on your face as it is struck by the first rays of the sun (i.e. facing East) 

Mulka – “a sacred but public ceremony.”

In 1976, the Yolŋu artists established ‘Buku-Larrŋgay Arts’ in the old Mission health centre as an act of self-determination coinciding with the withdrawal of the Methodist Overseas Mission and the Land Rights and Homeland movements.

In 1988, a new museum was built with a Bicentenary grant and this houses a collection of works put together in the 1970s illustrating clan law and also the Message Sticks from 1935 and the Yirrkala Church Panels from 1963.

In 1996, a screen print workshop and extra gallery spaces was added to the space to provide a range of different mediums to explore. In 2007, The Mulka Project was added which houses and displays a collection of tens of thousands of historical images and films as well as creating new digital product. 

Still on the same site but in a greatly expanded premises Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka Centre now consists of two divisions; the Yirrkala Art Centre which represents Yolŋu artists exhibiting and selling contemporary art and The Mulka Project which acts as a digital production studio and archiving centre incorporating the museum.

 

Text courtesy: Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka Centre




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