Garma, 2009

From August 6 – 10, members of Bula’bula Arts attended the Garma Festival of Yolngu culture.  ANKAAA (the Association of Northern, Kimberley and Arnhem Aboriginal Artists Inc.) funded three Bula’bula artists and the curator to attend the annual celebration of Yolngu culture, held in the forest at Gulkula, Northeast Arnhem Land (near Nhulunbuy).  The three artists who attended the festival were ANKAAA board-member Richard Birrinbirrin, Peter Minygululu and Shirley Banalanydju.

A productive and enjoyable four days were spent camping amongst fellow artists and attending the following events:
* Garma Academic Key Forum, this year titled ‘Creative Industries’.
* the ANKAAA Arnhem Regional Meeting, where the group met with other local Art Centres and funding bodies to discuss important issues facing the individual art centres today.
* Yothu Yindu Foundation Printmaking Workshop.  Peter and Shirley each created a linocut print at the festival, with the possible opportunity of the foundation selecting their artwork for editioning.
* Visit to Buku Larrnggay Mulka Art Centre, in Yirrkala.
* Evening Bungul and entertainment.

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Date of birth : c 1927

Language : Liyagalawumirr

Clan : Birritjama

Social Affiliations : Dhuwa moiety, Gamanydjan subsection

Namiyal began to paint in the early 1990s after her second husband had a stroke and needed assistance with his paintings. From this initial introduction, Namiyal paints in a similar loose and free flowing style to her late husband, Tony Djikululu (1938-1992).


Namiyal's quirky animals are filled with life. They often appear to be running across the surface, their eyes on the viewer as if looking behind at a pursuer. Her images are largely drawn from elements of the Wagilag Sisters creation story; her itchy caterpillars, bush foods and snakes are all elements of this story. Her country, Guruwana, is often painted in the minimalist sacred rocks design, or occasionally more pictorial elements of the story may be depicted. Among her favorite subjects are  wayanaka (oyster beds), features of her rocky salt-water country east of Ramingining.  Namiyal is also an  accomplished fibre artist, her work being known for its bold colouration and form.



1991, Namiyal Bopirri, Vivien Anderson Gallery, Melbourne
1993, Namiyal Bopirri, Australian Girls Own Gallery, (aGOG), Canberra
2002, Namiyal Bopirri, Helen Maxwell Gallery, Braddon, ACT
2003, Namiyal Bopirri, Karen Brown Gallery, Darwin
2004, Guruwana: Paintings by Namiyal Bopirri, Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute, Adelaide
2005, Namiyal Bopirri: First Melbourne Solo Show (sic), Indigenart, Carlton, Victoria
2006, Guruwana: An Exhibition of paintings on canvas and bark, dupun and weavings from Namiyal Bopirri, Indigenart, Perth
2006, Namiyal Bopirri Bark Paintings, Birrung Gallery, Sydney

Select Group Exhibitions:
1984, Buyu-Ramingining Weaving, Crafts Council, NT
1989, Ramingining, Gamununggu Miyalk, women painters, Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs
1993, Yananda New Moon, Ivan Docherty Gallery, Sydney
1993, Namiyal Bopirri, Naminapu White, Australian Girls Own Gallery, (aGOG) Canberra
1994, Buyu Djama, Pandanus Weaving from Arnhem Land, Adelaide Fringe Festival, National Trust of South Australia
1994, Canvassing, 24 Hour Art, Darwin, NT
1994, Ramingining Weaving, Christine Abrahams Gallery, Richmond, Victoria
1994, Power of the Land, Masterpieces of Aboriginal Art, National Gallery of Victoria
1996, Bula’bula Arts, Ramingining, Anima Gallery, Adelaide
1996, A Selection of Prints, Drawings, Paintings and Carvings, aGOG, Canberra
1997, Ramingining Artists, Michel Sourgnes Gallery, Brisbane
1997, The Painters of the Wagilag Sisters Story 1937-1997, National Gallery, Canberra
1998, My Land, My Country, Michel Sourgnes Gallery, Brisbane
1998, New World Art Gallery, Hattem, The Netherlands
1998, Dreamings, Vlaams-Europeesch Conferentiecentrum, Brussels, Belgium
1999, Ramingining Artists Show, High on Art, Melbourne
1999, Under Southern Skies: Aboriginal and Western Perspectives of the Australian Night Sky, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, USA
1999, Geelong Print Prize, Geelong Art Gallery
2000, Ramingining Artists, Coo-ee Gallery, Sydney
2000, Fiona’s Choice Cuts, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, USA
2000, Yolngu Science: Objects and Representations from Ramingining, MCA, Sydney
2000, Ramingining, Bula'bula, Robert Steele Gallery, New York, USA
2001, The Native Born: Objects and Representations from Ramingining, Sprengel Museum, Hannover
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
2002, Water Country, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, USA
2002, A Taste of Aboriginal Art, Robert Steele Gallery, New York, USA
2003, Out of the Dilly Bag, Bright!, St Kilda, Victoria
2003, Guridji Djama, Thornquest Gallery, Southport
2003, Forms in Fibre, William Mora Galleries, Melbourne
2003, The Native Born: Contemporary Aboriginal Art from Ramingining, Australia, Asia Society Museum, New York, USA
2003, Bula’bula Arts at the Virginia Fringe Film Festival, Virginia, USA
2003, The Native Born: Contemporary Aboriginal Art from Ramingining, Australia, Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Taipei, Taiwan
2004, Buyu: Weaving from Ramingining, Budds Beach Gallery, Surfers Paradise
2004, Artists from Ramingining, Framed Gallery, Darwin
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
2004, Milan Craft Fair: L’artigiano in Fierra, Italy
2005, Yaku Yindi: Big Names from Ramingining, Hogarth Galleries, Sydney
2005, Pandanus to Paper, Northern Editions, Charles Darwin University, Darwin
2005, Guruwana: Paintings by Namiyal Bopirri, Indigenart, Melbourne
2005, Pandanus to Paper: weavings and prints from Bula’bula Arts, Northern Editions, Charles Darwin University, Darwin
2006, Australian Aboriginal Art, Robert Steele Gallery, New York, USA   
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, Ramingining, Bett Gallery, Hobart, Tasmania
2006, Gunga Dhawu (Pandanus story), Territory Craft, Darwin
2007, Bula'bula Arts: The Next Generation, Australia Dreaming Art, Melbourne
2007, Bark Paintings from Bula'bula Arts, Ramingining, Hogarth Galleries, Sydney
2007, Dupun, Bett Gallery, Hobart, Tasmania
2007, Palya Art In Melbourne, (Helen Read), Kew, Vic

Bulabula Arts, 1993, Namiyal Bopirri, exhib. cat. for solo aGOG exhibition.
Caruana, Wally and Lendon Nigel, 1997, The Painters of the Wagilag Sisters Story 1937-1997, National Gallery of Australia.
Hanby, L., 1993, 'Buyu Djama,' Periphery 17, 22-23.
Kleinert, Sylvia & Neale, Margo, 2000, The Oxford Companion to Aboriginal Art and Culture, Oxford University Press, Australia
Mundine, Djon, 2001, The Native Born: Objects and Representations from Ramingining, Arnhem Land, MCA & Bula’bula Arts

1989/90, John Kluge, Painting Their Land Commission, USA
1993, Artists Fellowship Grant from Australia Council.
1993, Arthouse Flowers Art Prize, first place, Cooma, NSW


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