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Lamangirra #2 Gumana, Garrapara, 132x48cm Bark
  • Lamangirra #2 Gumana, Garrapara, 132x48cm Bark
  • Lamangirra #2 Gumana, Garrapara, 132x48cm Bark
  • Lamangirra #2 Gumana, Garrapara, 132x48cm Bark
  • Lamangirra #2 Gumana, Garrapara, 132x48cm Bark
Lamangirra #2 Gumana, Garrapara, 132x48cm Bark
Lamangirra #2 Gumana, Garrapara, 132x48cm Bark
Lamangirra #2 Gumana, Garrapara, 132x48cm Bark
Lamangirra #2 Gumana, Garrapara, 132x48cm Bark

Lamangirra #2 Gumana, Garrapara, 132x48cm Bark

$3,329.00
  • Aboriginal Artist - Lamangirra #2 Gumana
  • Community - Yirkala
  • Homeland - Gangan
  • Aboriginal Art Centre - Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka Centre
  • Catalogue number - 655-19
  • Materials - Earth pigments on Stringybark
  • Size(cm) - H132 W48 D0.6  (irregular shape)
  • Postage variants - Artwork posted flat and ready to hang with a metal mount for stability
  • Orientation - Ready to hang as displayed though OK to hang horizontally

Garrapara is a coastal headland and bay area within Blue Mud Bay. It marks the spot of a sacred burial area for the Dhalwanju clan and a site where dispute was formally settled by Makarrata ( a trial of ordeal by spear which settled serious grievance and sealed the peace forever).


During the times after the ‘first mornings’ ancestral hunters left the shores of Garraparra in their canoe towards the horizon hunting for turtle. Sacred songs and dance narrate the heroic adventures of these two men as they passed sacred areas, rocks and saw ancestral totems on their way. Their hunting came to grief, with the canoe capsising and the hunters being drowned. The bodies washed back to the shores of Garrapara with the currents and the tides, as the Wangupini followed with its rain and wind. Their canoe with paddle and totems queen fish Makani and long tom Minyga and turtle Gårun are all referred to in the songs and landscape.
Makarrata, the ritual throwing of spears at a miscreant of Yolgnu law took place here. At Garraparra sacred trees held these barbed spears whilst not in use.


Garrapara has been rendered by the wavy design for Yirritja saltwater in Blue Mud Bay called Mungurru. The Mungurru is deep water that has many states and connects with the sacred waters coming from the land estates by currents and tidal action. Other clans of Blue Mud Bay that share similar mythology of the Yingapunjapu, i.e. the Madarrpa and Manggalili also paint the deeper saltwater - the Mungurru as such. This sacred design shows the water of Djalma Bay chopped up by the blustery South Easterlies of the early Dry season.


From freshwater, the waters migrate to Mungurru the mighty undifferentiated Yirritja saltwater ocean that plays at the horizon which receives and unifies all the Yirritja coastal saltwaters in one. It is from here that the water (soul) transmogrifies to vapour to enter the 'pregnant' Wangupini (Wet Season storm clouds) which carry the life-giving freshwater back to the start of the cycle.

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

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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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