Marrnyula Munuŋgurr is among the generation of exceptional female artists working at Yirrkala who have been taught to paint by their fathers and grandfathers and are now painting many of the sites and designs that would once have been the sole domain of men. Munuŋgurr was instructed in painting by her father, Djutjadjutja Munuŋgurr and now works closely with her mother, Noŋgirrŋa Marawili, also an artist. Munuŋgurr began her career as a printmaker and was for many years the senior printmaker at Yirrkala Printspace. Her attention to detail, consistency in application and clarity of design are informed by this experience.
The strong grid pattern dominating 'Djapu' 2013 refers to the Djapu clan site of Wandawuy. This outstation is surrounded by permanent freshwater and is associated with both Mäna, the ancestral shark and Bol'ŋu, the thunderman. Rains inspired by the actions of Bol'ŋu 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.
natural pigments on wood
262.0 x 15.0 x 17.0 cm
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Tony Gilbert Bequest Fund 2013
Not on display
© Marrnyula Mununggurr, Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Centre, Yirrkala
Where the work was made
Shown in 1 exhibition
Our spirits lie in the water, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 15 Nov 2014–01 Nov 2015