We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.





Barrupu Yunupiŋu


1948 – 06 Dec 2012

Language group: Gumatj, Arnhem region

Artist profile

No image
  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    Yirrkala North-east Arnhem Land Northern Territory Australia
    Cultural origin
    Gumatj, Biranybirany/Yirrkala, Arnhem region
    Media categories
    Sculpture , Woodwork
    Materials used
    natural pigments on wood
    230.0 x 14.0 x 19.0 cm
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Tony Gilbert Bequest Fund 2013
    Not on display
    Accession number
    Artist information
    Barrupu Yunupiŋu

    Artist profile

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Barrupu Yunupiŋu came from an esteemed family. Her father was the renowned bark painter Muŋgurrawuy Yunupiŋu. Her brothers, Mandawuy (the lead singer of Yothu Yindi) and Galarrwuy (a famed Indigenous leader) have both been Australians of the Year. She is also the sister of Nyapanyapa and Gulumbu Yunupiŋu, exceptional artists in their own right.

    Barrupu Yunupiŋu grew up at Yirrkala and began working through the Yirrkala printspace in 1996. In 2007 she began painting more consistently on bark and more recently began working on larrakitj (hollow logs). Yunupiŋu draws on the legacy of her father to create unique works that operate within the strict codes of Gumatj miny'tji (sacred clan designs), yet offer a very individual interpretation of this.

    Yunupiŋu paints with exceptional vigour and conviction, producing striking paintings of Gurtha, the ancestral fire that swept through a huge swathe of eastern Arnhem Land, from Biranybirany to Melville Bay. In these paintings Gurtha and its manifestations as flames, smoke, charcoal, ash and dust are rendered in varying patterns of diamond-shaped miny'tji.

  • Places

    Where the work was made


  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition

    • Fire lady, Alcaston Gallery, Fitzroy, 04 Jun 2012–28 Jun 2012

Other works by Barrupu Yunupiŋu

See all 5 works