Day 84. Yirrkala

A couple of times we went to the Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Art Centre in Yirrkala. This is much bigger than the one in Gapuwiyak and is renowned for their bark paintings and the painted burial poles. They have local artists and artists in the homelands. We were chatting with the Coordinator of the centre Kade McDonald, and he told us that one of the homelands, Wandawuy, would have the highest per capita successful artists in the world. He thought out of about 45 adults 30 of them are in significant art galleries or collections in Australia or around the world.

84 Yirrkala gallery small

Each person has his or her own story that is handed down through the generations, and this is why an artist will paint the same or similar design repeatedly. We bought the piece shown above in the first photo. It is by Djalinda Yunupiŋu and represents the waters between the mainland and Bremer Island. The star shapes are Yathiny an anemone like organism known as Porpita Porpita that the turtles feed on. There is more to the story but that is enough for here.

84 Yirrkala artists small

84 Yirrkala Wolsley smallIn the courtyard there were a couple of women working, the boys and I had come earlier in the week and sat with them for a while. It was nice to return and see the progression of their art. The lady, doing the carving is working on a project with John Wolseley, a famous artist from Victoria He is using her woodcarvings and printing with them. We met him and he explained what they were doing. He was a character to say the least. Quite mad, or at least eccentric.

84 Yirrkala white painting small

Kade (the coordinator) showed us some art by other artists explaining them. Tom and I loved the one below and were going to buy it, however we could not as it is on hold for purchase. When we asked whom we found out it is the Ian Potter Centre in Melbourne. At least we know we can pick art. The artist, Garrawun Wanambi is part of an exhibition there in August of Indigenous artists who are up for an award (I cannot remember the name).


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