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Diwidiwi Gumana, Buyku, 107x41cm Bark
  • Diwidiwi Gumana, Buyku, 107x41cm Bark
  • Diwidiwi Gumana, Buyku, 107x41cm Bark
  • Diwidiwi Gumana, Buyku, 107x41cm Bark
  • Diwidiwi Gumana, Buyku, 107x41cm Bark
Diwidiwi Gumana, Buyku, 107x41cm Bark
Diwidiwi Gumana, Buyku, 107x41cm Bark
Diwidiwi Gumana, Buyku, 107x41cm Bark
Diwidiwi Gumana, Buyku, 107x41cm Bark

Diwidiwi Gumana, Buyku, 107x41cm Bark

$1,199.00
  • Aboriginal Artist - Diwidiwi Gumana
  • Community - Yirkala
  • Homeland - Gangan
  • Aboriginal Art Centre - Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka Centre
  • Catalogue number - 1042-17
  • Materials - Earth pigments on Stringybark
  • Size(cm) - H107 W41 D0.6  (irregular)
  • Postage variants - Artwork posted flat and ready to hang with a metal mount for stability
  • Orientation - As displayed

A sacred expanse of water behind Gangan outstation where this work was produced is referred to as Gulutji. The initial activities of Barama the great ancestral being for Yirritja moiety took place here. Travelling from the seaside at Blue Mud Bay he emerged from the waters of Gulutji. Council was held with ‘Disciple’ Ancestors and Yirritja law was written. From this place the Yirritja nation spread as it traversed the country establishing clan estates and governing policy including language, ceremonial ritual and miny’tji (signature of the sacred design of event and place – this word describes the patterns employed in this work).

One of the metaphorical overviews of the painting is the union between the different subgroups of the Dhalwangu clan in the ancestral cycle of the regular fishtrap ceremonies they join together in celebrating. The last one of these was five years ago. These gatherings are ceremonial but also social and educational.

The sacred diamond design generally refers to the waters around Gangan but here are encased in strong vertical lines which show the structure of the fishtrap made during Mirrawarr (early dry season) with Rangan (paperbark) and wooden stakes. This is the Buyku or fishtrap area which is 'company' land (ie. shared by all of the people who live by/sing the river). The Dhalwangu and allied groups who participate in this song cycle and fishing activity are hunting Baypinga (saratoga) as does the Gany’tjurr (reef heron) which they identify with as the archetypal Yirritja hunter.

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.

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

 

Details currently unavailable

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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