22. Miyapunu, 2022 (7/50)
Miyapunu is the generic name for turtle. The artist described the turtle in the print as a baby Guwarrtji (Hawksbill Sea Turtle.) The Charles Darwin University Yolŋu Dictionary provides the following: bundi (sub-adult); wiriyarr (juvenile); A synonym of guwarrtji is: malarrka
- Etching on Hahnemuhle paper
- Dimensions: 49.5cm x 29.5cm artwork on 66cm x 46cm paper
- Cat No. 9181-22-7/50
- Homeland: Waṉḏaway
- Clan: Djapu
Dhambit is the daughter of two winners of the First Prize in the National Aboriginal and Torres strait Islander Art Award, Mutitjpuy Munuŋgurr and Gulumbu Yunupiŋu. Her grandfathers are Woŋgu and Muŋgurrawuy who themselves are legendary leaders and artists. She was hit by a car in 2007 and suffered serious head injuries which were life threatening. She is currently in a wheelchair with restrictions on movement and speech stemming from those head injuries. Through her husband’s and now deceased mother’s persistence and her own courage she has used art to overcome the deficits caused by the accident.
She practised as an artist prior to the accident and was credited as an artist in the film Yolŋu Boy. Her art is powerful and spontaneous and founded in her deep knowledge of Yolŋu Law. Her art is not ‘disabled’ art and finds acceptance within the community and the market as an innovative vision based on real understanding of the spiritual forces of her Yolŋu country and worldview. She is prolific and generous. She paints every day on whatever substrate she can find. She gifts art continuously to any and all people she comes into contact with Indigenous or otherwise. So that a large percentage of homes with North East Arnhem display a Dhambit work.
As well as being art that does not mimic others and which presents a fresh perspective in Yolŋu designs, this is art made for a higher purpose. She has essentially used the art and her parent’s sacred teachings to overcome physical handicaps and limitations. Her capacity to communicate through and around art with allcomers is truly inspiring. She paints without thought or hope of reward and in turn her work has exhibited in several prestigious shows and galleries.
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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