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Wolpa Wanambi Wuyal ga Marurrumburr , 2000


One of the last works available by this artist
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Arts d'Australie • Stéphane Jacob

Paris, France

Artsper seller since 2013
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Wolpa Wanambi, Wuyal ga Marurrumburr
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About the work
  • Medium

    Print : linocut, etching

  • Dimensions cm | inch

    29.9 x 22 inch

  • Support

    Print on paper

  • Framing

    Not framed

  • Type

    Numbered and limited to 50 copies
    2 remaining copies

  • Authenticity

    Work sold with an invoice from the gallery
    and a certificate of authenticity

  • Signature

    Signed artwork

  • About the artwork

    Artwork sold in perfect condition

    Originally from the northeast of Arnhem Land, Wolpa Wanambi portrays a hero from the mythical Dream Time: Wuyal. This Great Ancestor of the Aborigines of Yrrkala (the Marrakulu) was a hunter pursuing the small kangaroos (the "rockwallaby") who lived in the vicinity of Mount Saunders, near a sacred site called Nhulunbuy. It is this Wuyal which is staged in the upper part of this engraving on linoleum - an art practiced from the 70s by women-painters of Yrrkala like Banygul Marika and Dhuwarrwarr Marika. Traditionally represented with a sword, a stone ax and a thruster, here he wears another of his attributes around his neck: a ritual bag or dillybag to contain the honey collected from the hollow trees where the bees shelter their swarms. Wuyal is indeed designated in the mythology of the Land of Arnhem as the Ancestor-Honey. His physiognomy here is that of an aboriginal whose body is adorned with necklaces of paintings or ritual scarifications as worn by the men of the clan he founded when they celebrate his history. The background with patterns made up of dotted lines and hatching symbolizes the region of Nhulunbuy, of which he offers a sort of map made from an assembly of ritual forms: these and the patterns that decorate them are directly inspired by religious paintings of the region. . Besides, a work of art like this is still fundamentally a sacred object. In Western Arnhem Land, we call rarrk the system of hatching which predominates here and towards the east dhulang or miny'tji. They have both a clan value allowing initiates to identify the origin of the artist who used them and a magical value because these drawings give a sacred dimension to the supports on which they have been reproduced: they indeed suggest the spiritual energy of the ancestors that it is a question of celebrating and of continuing to bring to life. The lower part of this diptych with superimposed elements takes up the same backdrop but features another Dreamtime deity, Marurrumburr, ("wild cat" in English - literally "wild cat" who lives in the region of Yanawal which he himself created in the Time of Dreams. Of course the links existing between Wuyal and Marurrumbur beyond the region they share, only the initiated know them and the amateur must resolve not to be able to appreciate as the play of ritual motifs, Wuyal's totemic posture, the silent dialogue between man and animal both united in the artist's double composition but separated by the frames surrounding the respective spaces where they are represented.
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Origin: France
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Wolpa Wanambi

Australia Born in: 1970
Wolpa Wanambi is the youngest daughter of one of the best known Yolngu artists of the 1980s Dundiwuy Wanambi (1936-1996) and learned to paint under his instruction.. Wolpa assisted in all of the major works produced by her father during the 1990s including the work that received the 1994 NATSIAA award for Best Bark Painting and the Wagilag carvings 1995-96 in the collection of the National Gallery of Australia.

Most of this work was done at Dundiwuy’s small outstation community of Gurka’wuy. Dundiwuy was one of the main collaborators with Ian Dunlop in the Yirrkala Film Project (22 films made with the Yolngu between 1970-1985). This Project captured the themes of the era where the advent of industrialised Bauxite mining prompted the Homeland Movement away from Yirrkala.

Wolpa appears as a young girl under her English name of Daisy in ‘Djungawan at Gurka’wuy’. In 1996, the year of his death, Dundiwuy stated that a major bark painted entirely by Wolpa under his instruction be formally attributed to her. In 2000, Wolpa won the National Indigenous Heritage Art Award First Prize. She had a very successful sell out show at Niagara Galleries in Melbourne but has not had a subsequent show because of the very slow and patient rate of production.
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Wolpa Wanambi, Wuyal ga Marurrumburr
Wolpa Wanambi, Wuyal ga Marurrumburr