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An image of Larrakitj by Nyapanyapa Yunupingu

Nyapanyapa Yunupingu

(Australia circa 1945 – )

Language group
Gumatj, Arnhem region
Place of origin
YirrkalaNorth-east Arnhem LandNorthern TerritoryAustralia
Cultural origin
Gumatj/Arnhem region
Media categories
Sculpture, Woodwork
Materials used
natural pigments on wood

203.0 x 13.5 x 16.0 cm

Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Tony Gilbert Bequest Fund 2013
Accession number
© Nyapanyapa Yunupingu, Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Centre, Yirrkala
Yiribana Gallery
Further information

Nyapanyapa Yunupingu is perhaps the most influential artist working at Yirrkala today who has distinguished herself by deliberately avoiding the clan stories and designs she has inherited to create works that explore aspects of the everyday and the process of making art itself.

The larrakit (hollow log) 'Larrakitj' 2013 is drawn from Yunupingu's 'mayilimiriw' series, which can be directly translated as 'meaningless'. Yunupingu has used this title for a series of works she has produced since 2009 and in which she jokingly counteracts the almost accepted convention of meaning being embedded within Yolngu art. Indeed this is the norm and Yunupingu is perhaps the first Yolngu artist to consciously eliminate this aspect from her work allowing her to more freely focus on line, form and colour. However, in doing this she refers to the process of painting with natural pigments and the application of cross-hatching, which she renders in an energetic and rhythmic manner.

Yunupingu's style of painting is in stark contrast to the highly geometric works being produced by most artists working through Yirrkala today and to the tightly composed paintings produced by artists in the past such as Yunupingu's father, Munggurrawuy Yunupingu.

Exhibition history (2)

New work: Nyapanyapa Yunupingu, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Paddington, 27 Nov 2012–08 Dec 2012

Our spirits lie in the water, 15 Nov 2014–01 Nov 2015

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