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Contemporary art

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art

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Gawarrk (Woman turned into rock), from Duyfken: The Aboriginal Print Portfolio



Djalinda Yunupiŋu Ulamari


1954 -

Language group

Gumatj, Arnhem region


This limited edition print portfolio was produced in July 2006 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Dutch-Australian relations. Sponsored by Rabobank, the portfolio was produced by the Australian Print Workshop, Melbourne, in collaboration with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

The title of the portfolio is drawn from the name of the first Dutch ship to land on Australian shores, the Duyfken or Little Dove. A vessel of the Dutch East India Company, the Duyfken landed on the west coast of Cape York Peninsula in March 1606 and Captain William Janszoon and his men went ashore. The portfolio is based on the notion of 'first encounters' to highlight this little known fact.

The Duyfken portfolio brings together 10 Indigenous artists from across the country with diverse art practices, resulting in an important collection of works that explore the notion of 'first encounters' in a number of ways and shed light on the exchanges that took place with a number of countries prior to colonisation.

The documentation for this print states:

"Nobody knows where the miyalk (woman) named Gawarrk came from. She wasn't Macassan, European or Yolŋu (Aboriginal). She was from an unknown people. She swam from Dhambaliya (Bremer Island) where my family lives now, towards Gutjangan, our homeland, to Banupanuwuy and then to Bolulawuy, where the barge landing is now. Here she danced with the two swords which broke when she hit them together. The swords fell into the water and the miyalk turned into the rock called Gawarrk. The dance that Gawarrk did on the beach with the swords is done in Yirritja Ceremonies today. Some of the places at Dhambaliya are Yirritja, but mostly Dhuwa land and sea. The anchor indicates that Dhambaliya has abundant freshwater".




Media category


Materials used

linocut, red and black ink on Velin Arches 200gsm white wove paper




40.0 x 60.0 cm blockmark; 76.0 x 56.0 cm sheet


Gift of Rabobank Australia Ltd 2007


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Djalinda Yunupiŋu Ulamari

Works in the collection



Where the work was made

Referenced in 2 publications


Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Duyfken, Netherlands, 2006. Commemorative brochure, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Anne Virgo (Editor), Australian Print Workshop bulletin, 'Duyfken Folio', pg. 4, Fitzroy, 2007.