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An image of Fish trap at Wandawuy by Nonggirrnga Marawili

Nonggirrnga Marawili

(Australia circa 1939 – )

Language group
Madarrpa, Arnhem region
Fish trap at Wandawuy
Place of origin
YirrkalaNorth-east Arnhem LandNorthern TerritoryAustralia
Cultural origin
Madarrpa, Yirrkala, Arnhem region
Media categories
Sculpture, Woodwork, Painting
Materials used
natural pigments on wood

208.0 x 13.0 x 13.0 cm

Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Tony Gilbert Bequest Fund 2013
Accession number
© Nongirrnga Marawili courtesy Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Art Centre
Yiribana Gallery
Further information

In recent years a strong group of female artists have emerged within the Yirrkala community. These women have been instructed in painting by their fathers and grandfathers and taught designs that have previously been the domain of men. Their works showcase the ongoing cultural inheritance and innovation in Yirrkala. Nonggirrngga Marawili is central to this group and spent many years assisting her husband with the cross-hatching on his works before working independantly on her own works.

Her larrakitj 'Fishtrap at Wandawuy' 2013 depict the gridded fishtrap design associated with the freshwaters of the Djapu clan at Wandawuy. This outstation is surrounded by permanent freshwater and is associated with both Mäna, the ancestral shark and Bol’ngu the thunderman. Rains inspired by the actions of Bol’ngu feed the rivers and fill the billabongs, resulting in a rich sea life that is a home for mäna. The grid refers to the landscape of the site, a network of billabongs surrounded by ridges and high banks and also relates to the grid of a woven fish trap set here by ancestral hunters.

Exhibition history (1)

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