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Dhuŋgala Munuŋgurr, Wayin (Bird) Sculpture
  • Dhuŋgala Munuŋgurr, Wayin (Bird) Sculpture
  • Dhuŋgala Munuŋgurr, Wayin (Bird) Sculpture
  • Dhuŋgala Munuŋgurr, Wayin (Bird) Sculpture
  • Dhuŋgala Munuŋgurr, Wayin (Bird) Sculpture
Dhuŋgala Munuŋgurr, Wayin (Bird) Sculpture
Dhuŋgala Munuŋgurr, Wayin (Bird) Sculpture
Dhuŋgala Munuŋgurr, Wayin (Bird) Sculpture
Dhuŋgala Munuŋgurr, Wayin (Bird) Sculpture

Dhuŋgala Munuŋgurr, Wayin (Bird) Sculpture

$539.00
  • Aboriginal Artist - Dhuŋgala Munuŋgurr
  • Community - Yirkala
  • Homeland - Waṉḏaway / Buku-ḏäl / Garrthalala
  • Aboriginal Art Centre - Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka Centre
  • Catalogue number - 63-20
  • Materials - Earth pigments on Wood
  • Size(cm) - H73 W14 D12

Wayin translates as bird. Within the spiritual law of North East Arnhem Land, it is accepted that the spirit of deceased people is guided to its appropriate destination by a bird from that clan.
This work is a decorative piece made from renewable wood which is usually harvested from the tree in the dry season. Preferred woods are Maḻwan (Hibiscus Tiliaceus), Gunhirr (Blind-Your-Eye-Mangrove), Wuḏuku (mangrove wood), Barraṯa (Kapok). The first activity is to enter the monsoon vine thicket and cut the wood and carry it back to the vehicle. Often a long hike through prickly vines and scrub. The wood is skinned and left to dry for a short period. It is then shaped by knife or axe.
After the surface is sanded smooth a layer of red paint is usually the first to go down. The paints used are earth pigments. The red (meku), yellow (Gaŋgul) and black (gurrŋan) are provided by rubbing rocks of these colours against a grinding stone and then adding water and PVA glue in small quantities. A new batch of paint is prepared or renewed every few minutes as it dries or is used up. After an outline of the composition is laid down the marwat or crosshatching commences. This is applied using a brush made of a few strands of straight human hair usually from a young woman or girl. The artist charges the marwat (brush) with the paint and then paints away from themselves in a straight line. Each stroke requires a fresh infusion of pigment. The last layer to be applied is almost always the white clay or gapan which is made from kaolin harvested from special sites. This also has water and glue added after being crushed into a fine powder. An alternative to painting the cross-hatching is to use a razor to incise fine lines and reveal the light coloured wood underneath.

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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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