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An image of Mardayin design by John Mawurndjul

John Mawurndjul

(Australia 1952 – )

Language group
Kuninjku, Arnhem region
Mardayin design
Place of origin
ManingridaCentral Arnhem LandNorthern TerritoryAustralia
Media category
Materials used
hard-ground etching, black ink on white wove Velin Arches 250gsm paper

64.0 x 34.5 cm platemark; 76.0 x 56.0 cm sheet

Signature & date
Signed l.r. beneath platemark, pencil "JOHNNY". Not dated.
Mollie Gowing Acquisition Fund for Contemporary Aboriginal Art 2004
Accession number
© John Mawurndjul. Licensed by Viscopy, Australia
Not on display
Further information

This work by Mawurndjul concerns a major patrimoeity ceremony of a secret and sacred nature called Mardayin. Much of the meaning of the iconography in the print is not in the domain of public knowledge and so it cannot be explained in detail here.

The image refers to a site at Mumeka, which is an outstation in the artist's clan estate in the Mann River region. The Mardayin ceremony performance site is located on a large billabong covered in waterlillies. This place is about 50km south of Maningrida in Central North Arnhem Land.

© Australian Art Department, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2004

Bibliography (1)

Hetti Perkins, Crossing country: the alchemy of western Arnhem Land art, Sydney, 2004, 153 (illus.), 226.

Exhibition history (2)

Crossing country: the alchemy of Western Arnhem Land art, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 24 Sep 2004–12 Dec 2004

The Dreamers (2009-10), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 09 May 2009–15 Aug 2010