Date of birth : c 1942
Language : Djinang / Marrangu
Clan : Wurrkigenydjarr
Social Affiliations : Dhuwa moiety, Balang subsection
I don’t remember where I was born but my mother and father told me that I was born here at Murrwangi. My family was living on the mainland in the bush. Sometimes we would go to the mission at Milingimbi for shopping and to sell art and craft or crocodile skins. My father Djuwarlarra (1) who died at Milingimbi.
I went to school when I was little. We lived at Ngarrawundhu near the present-day hospital. I had my dapi here at Milingimbi. Me and Johnny Batarrk little brother (Weyli - dec.) here. M/s Lowe taught me and Mr. Fidock, and yolngu - Charlie Mayntjarri. Don was in my class and Michael Gadjawali. My uncle Jimmy Djamunba took me to Mainarou to work as a stockman - really at Mountain Valley. I worked with Rembarrnga people you know that August (?) from Malyanganak well his father was working cooking. One day I got hurt off a horse and went to Darwin to hospital. I got a job at Qantas then the airport in Darwin. Me and Wally (Lipuwanga) and Brian (Nyinawanga) and Jacky (Guningu tribe). We bin working there, a lot of people Milingimbi, Maningrida. Some worked at the Air Force getting training, some at Qantas. I was living near the airport, near Bagot.
When I finished at Darwin I went back and worked at Maningrida - the same as a stockman with a balanda called Danny Watson - Johnny Mayarra(dec.) and Johnny Bulun Bulun and Ray Munyal. First time we brought the cattle to Maningrida from Beswick and then took them back. They were kept near the airport and buffulo too. I started painting then at Maningrida. When I bin finish work then I bin started painting there. Jacky Mirrtji taught me to paint. We started to paint me and Don Gundinga, keep trying, painting, painting, painting.
Back in the Ramingining area I worked at Murrwangi until it closed. Malcolm Armstrong, Alan Baker, Neville Hoadly. I give up cattle work when Malcolm left and I kept painting.
My first Gunapipi after hospital and then Qantas I went to Gunapipi in the bush at Ten Mile and we finished at Pine Creek. There were yolngu from here my families, Don and Dick , Ronnie and old man from Gamedi (Jacky) and old man Charlie Marapiny. All from Darwin and from here. From Oenpelli and from here. Gakawarr was from Oenpelli. A long way by foot walk.
I got married here - long time. [Ramingining was ] a small town then - Richard Trudgen was here, and Neal Broad and Joe Reiser and Michael Joyner. We sent our art to Milingimbi - crocodile skin... dilly bag and everything".
Select Group Exhibitions:
1984, Objects & Representations from Ramingining, Power Institute [now MCA], Sydney.
1984, Aboriginal Art, an Exhibition Presented by the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, Canberra
1986, Painted Objects from Arnhem Land, University Drill Hall Gallery (Pod), Canberra, ACT.
1987, The Art of Ramingining, The Centre Gallery, Gold Coast, Qld
1988, Biennale of Sydney, Aboriginal Memorial, Pier One, Sydney
1989, Aboriginal Art: The Continuing Tradition, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
1990, Keepers of the Secrets, Aboriginal Art from Arnhemland, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth
1990, Ramingining Art, Birukmarri Gallery, Fremantle.
1994, The Eleventh National Aboriginal Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin
1995, Australian Art 1940-1990, Museum of Fine Arts, Gifu, Japan
1996, Bula’Bula Arts, Ramingining, Anima Gallery, Adelaide
1996, Islands: Contemporary Installations, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
1999, 16th Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Awards
1999, Claiming Title: Aboriginal Artists and the Land, Carleton College Art Gallery, Minnesota and Wriston Art Center Galleries, Wisconsin, USA
1999, Le Memorial un chef-d'oeuvre d'art aborigine, Olympic Museum, Lausanne, Switzerland; State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, Russia; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid
2000, Ramingining Artists, Coo-ee Gallery, Sydney
2000, 17th Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Awards
2000, Aboriginal Art in Modern Worlds, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
2000, Yolngu Science: Objects and Representations from Ramingining, MCA, Sydney
2001, The Native Born: Objects and Representations from Ramingining, Sprengel Museum, Hannover
2001, Origin Stories: Creation Naratives in Art, Marsh Gallery, University of Richmond, Virginia, USA
2001, Origin Stories: Creation Naratives in Art, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA
2002, Ramingining, Arte aborigen australiano de la Tierra de Arnhem, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid
2002, The Native Born: Objects and Representations from Ramingining, Palacio de Velazquez, Parque del Retiro, Madrid
2003, Out of the Dilly Bag, Bright!, St Kilda, Victoria
2003, Identity & Country, Indigenart, Subiaco, WA
2003, Sydney Aboriginal & Oceanic Art Fair, Circular Quay, Sydney
2003, Animals & Spirits, Alison Kelly Gallery, Melbourne, Victoria
2003, Sydney Affordable Art Fair, Fox Studio, NSW, represented by Hill-Smith Fine Arts
2003, The Native Born: Contemporary Aboriginal Art from Ramingining, Australia, Asia Society Museum, New York, USA
2003, The Native Born: Contemporary Aboriginal Art from Ramingining, Australia, Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Taipei, Taiwan
2004, Palya Art, Kew, Victoria
2004, Artists from Ramingining, Framed Gallery, Darwin
2004, The World of Aboriginal Art and Tingatinga Paintings, The Museum of Fine Arts, Gifu, Japan
2004, Dupun, Djalumbu, Badurru-Hollow Logs from Ramingining, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne
2004, Ramingining Rom: Paintings and Objects from Bulabula Arts Aboriginal Corporation, Central Arnhem Land, Fremantle Arts Centre, Western Australia
2004, Bulabula Artists Mala, Bandigan Arts, Sydney
2005, Rarrk on Bark, Ballarat Fine Art Gallery, Ballarat, Victoria
2005, Pussycat & Friends, William Mora Galleries, Melbourne
2005, Pandanus to Paper, Northern Editions, Charles Darwin University, Darwin
2006, Bula’bula Arts in 3D, Gallerie Australis, Adelaide
2006, Recently Ramingining, Hogarth Galleries, Sydney
2006, L’Espirit de la Terre d’Arnhem Art Aborigene du Nord de L’Australie: La Collection d’Arnaud Serval, Passage de Retz, Paris
2006, Our Home: Charles Darwin University Art Collection recent acquisitions, Charles Darwin University, Darwin
2006, Bark Paintings, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne
2007, Bula'bula Arts: The Next Generation, Australia Dreaming Art, Melbourne
2007, Bark Paintings from Bula'bula Arts, Ramingining, Hogarth Galleries, Sydney
Aboriginal Art Museum, The Netherlands
Art Gallery and Museum, Kelvingrove, Glasgow
Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth
Australian Museum, Sydney
Ballarat Fine Art Gallery, Ballarat, Victoria
British Museum, Department of Africa, Oceania and the Americas, London, UK
Kluge-Ruhe Collection, University of Virginia, USA
Linden Museum, Stuttgart, Germany
Milingimbi Collection, MECA, Milingimbi Educational and Cultural Association
Museum of Contemporary Art, Ramingining Collection, Sydney
Museum of Mankind, British Museum, London
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Private collection, France
The Holmes a Court Collection, Perth
The Hida Earth Wisdom Centre, Gifu, Japan
Troppen Museum, Childrens Museum section, Amsterdam.
Caruana, W., 1987, Australian Aboriginal Art, a Souvenir Book of Aboriginal Art in the Australian National Gallery, Australian National Gallery, Parkes, Australian Capital Territory.
Mundine, Djon, 2001, The Native Born: Objects and Representations from Ramingining, Arnhem Land, MCA & Bula’bula Arts
O'Ferrall, M., 1990, Keepers of the Secrets, Aboriginal Art from Arnhemland in the Collection of the Art Gallery of Western Australia, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth.
1983, Australian Perspecta 1983, A Biennial Survey of Contemporary Australian Art, exhib. cat., Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney.
1989/90, John Kluge, Painting Their Land Commission, USA
1993, Honourable Mention for Ramingining Artists, Australian Heritage Commission Art Award Exhibition, Old Parliament House Canberra [artist not named individually]
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