11. Bathi, 2023 (27/40)
This woman is the widow and mother of Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Prize winners. Her whole life revolves around the production of art and the collection of food. Usually these two objectives are achieved simultaneously. T
his echoes a series which evolved in 2011 from her painting of small barks depicting woven pandanus bags dyed with natural colours. The dyes used in pandanus include the bark from the root of the Rotten Cheesefruit (burukpili- Morinda Citrofolia). She created works that showed scenes associated with gathering materials for the creation of Bathi (baskets). This includes cups of tea, djitama (cheeky yam) and sleeping dogs.
Based on this idea, the artist completed a series of paintings in 2012 that featured string woven dillybags and then added the women going hunting to collect the Darranggurrk (Kurrajong bark) to make the string. Then a dog or two or a husband with a spear and eventually a tea cup found its way into the theme. Many years later and now she is too frail to join these trips anymore she revisited it in this print of bathi or bags- more properly this form is known as gay'wu.
- Etching on Hahnemuhle paper
- Dimensions: 59.2 x 39.2cm artwork on 76.4 x 57.2cm paper
- Cat No. 4102-23-27/40
- Homeland: Bäniyala
- Clan: Madarrpa, Yithuwa group
- Moiety: Yirritja
Mrs N. Marawili (dec) is the daughter of the Maḏarrpa warrior Mundukuḻ (lightning snake) and a Gälpu woman Buḻuŋguwuy. She was a wife of Djapu statesman Djutjadjutja Munuŋgurr (deceased) who won best bark painting at the National Aboriginal Art Awards 1997, in which she ably assisted.
She was the mother of four sons before birthing her two daughters, Marrnyula and Rerrkirrwaŋa (both artists – Rerrkirrwaŋa won best bark in Telstra 2009). She is a highly respected senior in her community, knowledgeable in two educational systems and practitioner in the bush and also institutions. She is a prolific producer of art, her work includes bark paintings, ḻarrakitj, carvings, and limited edition prints. Many of the works attributed to her husband Djutadjuta were crosshatched herself as part of teaching her family the required skills. She most often paints her husband’s Djapu clan designs, the Gälpu clan designs of her mother, or that of her own clan the Maḏarrpa.
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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