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Yalanba Wanambi

Trial Bay
natural ochre on bark
196 x 65 cm
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Three monolithic rocks, which are statues of ancestral beings, jut from the entrance to Trial Bay. Freshwater imbued with sacred honey flows from fonts deep in the saltwater under these rocks. This sweet saltwater, belonging to the Marrakulu, Golumala, Marraŋu and Wawilak clans, clashes, plays and mingles with the oceanic saltwater of the Djapu and Dhapuyŋu clans. Rushing into the bay, the ocean creates eddies, currents and patterns that define the Märi-Gutharra relationship between Djapu and Marrakulu clans. They are maternal grandmother and granddaughter. A metaphoric ‘backbone’. The eponymous black sand comes from one beach only and is called Yalanba.

Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka Centre, Yirrkala, NT, 2018