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Milpuṉ milpuṉ - phosphorescence



Dhambit Munuŋgurr


1968 –

Language group: Djapu, Arnhem region

No image
  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    Yirrkala North-east Arnhem Land Northern Territory Australia
    Media category
    Materials used
    acrylic on eucalyptus wood
    305.0 x 40.0 x 40.0 cm
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Not on display
    Accession number
    Artist information
    Dhambit Munuŋgurr

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Art centre documentation for this work states:
    “Dhambit is the daughter of two winners of the First Prize in the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award, Mutitjpuy Munuŋgurr and Gulumbu Yunupiŋu. Her grandfathers are Woŋgu and Muŋgurrawuy who themselves are legendary leaders and artists. She was hit by a car in 2007 and suffered serious head injuries which were life threatening. She is currently in a wheelchair with restrictions on movement and speech stemming from those head injuries.

    Through her husband’s and now deceased mother’s persistence and her own courage, she has used art to overcome the deficits caused by the accident. She also practiced as an artist prior to the accident. Her art is powerful and spontaneous and founded in her deep knowledge of Yolŋu law. Her art is not ‘disabled’ art and finds acceptance within the community and the art market as an innovative vision based on real understanding of the spiritual forced of her Yolŋu Country and worldview.

    Though contemporary in look, her works often make reference to her own and related moiety and clan's totems. Here she is representing a secular moment. Yolŋu turtle hunters will sit dead quiet over the baṯpa, reef, on moonless nights.

    Any movement generates milpuṉ milpuṉ (phosphoresence). This phenomenon cannot be imagined, only experienced. It is more magical than any other experience. A turtle surfacing or swimming will betray itself with fairy like glittering animated bursts of blue light. This applies to any sea creature whose movements disturb the thick black water."

  • Places

    Where the work was made