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Ŋoŋu Ganambarr, Wirrmu ga Djurrpun, 158x45cm Bark
  • Ŋoŋu Ganambarr, Wirrmu ga Djurrpun, 158x45cm Bark
  • Ŋoŋu Ganambarr, Wirrmu ga Djurrpun, 158x45cm Bark
  • Ŋoŋu Ganambarr, Wirrmu ga Djurrpun, 158x45cm Bark
  • Ŋoŋu Ganambarr, Wirrmu ga Djurrpun, 158x45cm Bark
Ŋoŋu Ganambarr, Wirrmu ga Djurrpun, 158x45cm Bark
Ŋoŋu Ganambarr, Wirrmu ga Djurrpun, 158x45cm Bark
Ŋoŋu Ganambarr, Wirrmu ga Djurrpun, 158x45cm Bark
Ŋoŋu Ganambarr, Wirrmu ga Djurrpun, 158x45cm Bark

Ŋoŋu Ganambarr, Wirrmu ga Djurrpun, 158x45cm Bark

$3,499.00
  • Aboriginal Artist - Ŋoŋu Ganambarr
  • Community - Yirkala
  • Homeland - Rorruwuy
  • Aboriginal Art Centre - Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka Centre
  • Catalogue number - 2388-20
  • Materials - Earth pigments on Stringybark
  • Size(cm) - H158 W45 D0.6  (irregular shape)
  • Postage variants - Artwork posted flat and ready to hang with a metal mount for stability
  • Orientation - Wired to hang as displayed though OK to hang horizontally on support frame

This Waŋgurri clan design depicts the Wirrmu or new moon and Djurrpun the evening star. The design relates to the journey through Wangurri clan waters belonging to that clan from their homeland at Mutamul towards their freshwater homeland at Dhalinybuy. The minyjti or sacred clan design can have different meanings. One is a manifestation in the tracks left in timber from infestation from the boring mangrove worm Milka. Bands of miny’tji represents this and by the layering of hair-brush strokes, that build up to a shimmering and brilliant state, itself a manifestation (we can only imagine) of the sublime and to the references this painting could have of the end results of supernatural events and the peace brought after as rays of sun on the calm waters, a condition called gunbilk. The waters that travel through the mangrove areas, (where the Milka infest the wood), that wash with the tides to be taken with the currents out deep to the horizons meet with associate waters from other estates relative to the Wangurri, such as the Maŋgalili. These waters contain the life forces and clan identity and are taken up into the maternal clouds and as dots among the waters supporting the totem octopus Manda and the yothu (child) cuttlefish shells floating on the surface. These worms die as the pole itself a being washes into the freshwater.

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

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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