• 19. Djärrwiṯ, 2018 (14/20)
  • 19. Djärrwiṯ, 2018 (14/20)
  • 19. Djärrwiṯ, 2018 (14/20)

Marrnyula Munuŋgurr

19. Djärrwiṯ, 2018 (14/20)

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"When we go out and collect maypal we share them with everyone. Djärrwiṯ is dhuwa and the men sing and do bunŋgul to celebrate these freshwater mussels. The minytji (lines) are of the Djapu clan freshwater design."

  • Lino Cut Prints on BFK Rives paper
  • Dimensions: Print 47.5 x 38.5cm, Paper 56.5 x 66cm
  • Cat No. 1419-18-14/30

    • Homeland: Waṉḏawuy
    • Clan: Djapu, Balamumu
    • Moiety: Dhuwa

    Marrnyula began working for the Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka Centre whilst Steve Fox was the art co-ordinator in the 1980’s. She still resides at Yirrkala to work at Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka as an artist and senior printmaker in the Printspace.

    As well as being an art-worker she was brought up in one of the most artistically prolific camps in Yirrkala over this period. Both her mother and her father Djutjadjutja (dec. c.1935-1999) were constantly producing art with the help of their sons and daughters. She grew to assist her father (winner of the 1997 Best Bark painting prize National Aboriginal and Islander Art Award) with his sacred Djapu paintings as well as developing her own style of narrative naive paintings. All this whilst providing material support and moral leadership for her large family and being ‘mother’ to her brother’s three children.

    In 2007 Marrnyula exhibited works at Annandale Gallery with her Mother Noŋgirrnga Marawili where they painted the Djapu clan design. In 2009 she was featured in a major survey of contemporary art ‘Making it New’ at the MCA in Sydney. She was a participant in the Djalkiri project with John Wolseley and Fiona Hall, which is still touring Australia. In 2013 she exhibited at Seva Frangos Gallery, Perth and at Marshall Arts, Adelaide in 2014.

    In early 2015 her groundbreaking installation of 252 barks at Gertrude Street Contemporary brought significant notice. Arranging a large number of small barks has remained a major theme in her works since. In 2019 an installation of over 200 barks was exhibited during the Tarnanthi Festival in Adelaide at the Art Gallery of South Australia. In 2020 a work of hers which used painted representations of the flurry of small barks but which was actually only one large bark won Best Bark Prize at the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award.


    Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka Centre is the Indigenous community controlled art centre of Northeast Arnhem Land. Located in Yirrkala, a small Aboriginal community on the northeastern tip of the Top End of the Northern Territory, approximately 700km east of Darwin. The 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.

    Today Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka Centre 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.

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