When he was young, Mick Kubarkku watched two of his
father’s brothers paint. In 1960, Kubarkku started
to paint for the fledgling arts cooperative at Maningrida.
Kubarkku worked with Jimmy Njiminjuma in the early years
at Mumeka, and at times at Marrkolidjban. Kubarkku now
lives with his extended family at Kubumi on the Mann
River, where he set up the Yikarrakkal outstation in
We were always doing lots of paintings.
Our paintings depict our sacred places, which belong
to us and us only. We paint yawkyawk and mimih spirits
and other subjects, all of which are our Djang, such
as the Ngalyod from Kubumi. It belongs to us. We paint
those subjects. We can’t take subjects from other
groups. If we were to paint another person’s Djang
it could kill us.