• 15. Buḻwutja, 2023 (11/40)
  • 15. Buḻwutja, 2023 (11/40)
  • 15. Buḻwutja, 2023 (11/40)
  • 15. Buḻwutja, 2023 (11/40)

Muluymuluy Wirrpanda

15. Buḻwutja, 2023 (11/40)

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This work is made from Mäṯpana (Indian Almond- Terminalia catappa) a common tree along the coastal areas of North East arnhemland.

"These are the Mätpana flowers. This tree is one we always use for its deep dark shade. We can also use the big leaves to press damper between whilst we cook it. The big pods have little sweet nuts inside which we can get once we cut through the outside. The Cockatoos love to eat these nuts too."

Buḻwutja (Dhuwa, Cycnogeton dubium) is a water yam and described in the artist's words the following:

"This story is from a long time ago. People travelled around from place to place to hunt for ŋatha (food). First we dig in the water for Buḻwutja. Then we make a fire. When the fire burns down we take the coals to one side and put sand on top of them. Then the hot sand cooks the Buḻwutja."

    • Screenprint on Dutch Aquatint paper
    • Dimensions: 60 x 57cm artwork on 72 x 70.5cm paper
    • Cat No. 4716-23-11/40

In February/March 2020, Buku-Larrŋgay hosted a workshop with the students of Yirrkala Community Education Centre (the local school). Carly Farugia, the art teacher and her partner Liam- a ranger with Yirralka Homelands Rangers accepted the art centre's invitation and assisted in sourcing local trees to create woodblocks using this found timber in native species like Gaḏayka (Stringybark), Ḻanapu (Cypress Pine), Djomula (Casuarina) and Ganiri (Beauty Leaf).

The thinking was that instead of using woodblocks industrially prepared in pre-cut rectangles would we be able to work directly from the land and allow the shape of the tree to reflect in the composition not just the texture?

This workshop was facilitated by master printmaker Sean Smith. He arrived just as the worst of the COVID Pandemic struck Australia. Sean chose to stay for the full length of the workshop despite a real question as to whether he would be able to return home to Melbourne.

  • Homeland: Dhuruputjpi
  • Clan: Dhudi-Djapu
  • Moiety: Dhuwa

Muluymuluy was born at Ngukurr, her Father is Molulmi. She was the young wife of Wakuthi Marawili. Wakuthi was one of the oldest men in Arnhem land. He was known as Banbay – “Blind one” because of his poor eyesight. He passed away in 2005. His sons Djambawa and Nuwandjali have a large role in the day-to-day management of the large Maḏarrpa clan homeland, Yilpara. Muluymuluy has worked with them in her art as well as under Wakuthi’s direction to produce important Maḏarrpa clan paintings. Her son was Daymathuna Marawili who passed away in Ramingining. Her sister Mulkuṉ Wirrpanda is also a senior artist. Her Mother’s clan is Maŋgalili. 


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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