Event status:

Narritjin Maymuru Drawn from the collections of La Trobe University, Miwatj presents the work of five highly respected senior Yolngu leaders: Birrikitji Gumana (c.1898-1982), Dr Gumana AO (c.1935-2016), Mithinarri Gurruwiwi (c.1929-1976), Narritjin Maymuru (c.1916-1981) and Wandjuk Marika OBE (c.1927-1987). These senior men were highly respected community leaders and embraced the act of painting as a means of communicating Yolngu culture with non-Yolngu people.

Tuesday 29 May 2018 until Saturday 07 July 2018 (Add to calendar)
La Trobe Art Institute
5444 7272; lai@latrobe.edu.au
Presented by:
La Trobe Art Institute
Type of Event:
Community Event; Exhibition
Attached documents:
Miwatj_Wukun Wanambi and Ishmael Marika_In Conversation PDF.PDF [PDF, 3.1 MB]
Miwatj_Wukun Wanambi and Ishmael Marika_In Conversation (TEXT ONLY).docx [Word, 21.0 KB]

Miwatj translates to ‘morning side’ or ‘land of the first sunrise’ in Yolngu Matha (Yolngu tongue). Geographically, Miwatj refers to ‘sunrise country’, the furthest north-eastern part of Arnhem Land that receives the first morning sun, as it rises in the east. Beyond providing a sense of geographic location, the Miwatj region is of immense significance to Yolngu people, Yolŋu culture and understandings of place, encompassing both land and sea, freshwater and saltwater country. Place is the locus of all ancestral events and spiritual forces that shape the ongoing period of creation, known as Wangarr.

Rather than locating this group of Yolngu artists within a particular art-historical point in time, the influence of these men continues to resonate in an ongoing cycle of cultural expression, a cycle that preceded them and one that continues beyond them, just as the sun rises and sets in an ongoing cycle of many sunrises and sunsets.

Beyond their aesthetic vibrancy and diversity, this collection of paintings provides a small insight into the complexity of Yolngu culture and the significant role that painting has played in asserting Yolngu sovereignty and custodianship over the Miwatj region.

Exhibition Dates: 29 May – 7 July 2018

Interview Transcription PDF: Wukun Wanambi and Ishmael Marika in conversation with Travis Hodgson

Interview transcription: word document

Image credit:

Narritjin Maymuru (c.1916 - 1981), Title Unknown (detail), date unknown, earth pigments on bark, 111 x 58.5cm. Donated by Mr James and Mrs Irene Davidson through the Tax Incentives for the Arts Scheme, 1983. Image reproduction courtesy of the Maymuru family and Buku-Larrnggay Mulka.


121 View Street, Bendigo



16th Oct 2018 3:00pm

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