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B U K U PAINTING & SCULPTURE FROM AUSTRALIA’S ARNHEM LAND USA SUMMER 2015


Cover: Nyararpayi Giles, Tjarliri Catalog #14-320 This page: Photo by


The grind of the rock to create the ocher is a constant background sound that underlines the extensive labor and cultural dedication Yolngu artists have to their paintings. Over the days a pattern that began in one corner of an artist’s board slowly bleeds across the surface to expose a sacred body of water or a coastline owned and celebrated by generation after generation of their people. These patterns are cornerstones of remarkable compositions that reflect a true conviction of profound beauty and cultural meaning. (Kade McDonald, Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Center Art Co-ordintor, 2015)


Buku: Painting & Sculpture from Australia’s Arnhem Land Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Center is a Indigenous community art center located in Northern Australia. Since 1975, this remote art center has catered to the artistic, political and community needs of the culturally strong Yolngu people of Yirrkala and more than twenty outstations in North East Arnhemland. The sacred art of this region details the spiritual forces behind the ongoing Creation and continuing identity of this largely unspoilt region of Australia. Both land and sea are still managed by the traditional owners, the Yolngu. These ecosystems are pristine and provide abundant food subject to the season including yams, fruits, fish, kangaroo, wallaby, turtles and their eggs, dugong, emu, crayfish, oysters, mussels, tortoise, stingray, honey, and more. Yolngu artists work with natural materials that proliferate in their homeland like the stringybark eucalyptus, which forests and hugs rocky outcroppings where freshwater and saltwater converge. The ochers that are embedded in the rocks and soil are the pigments that lend their colors to the artist palette. Maintained by almost continuous ceremonial activity, the land provides all the traditional elements for an artist studio - pigments, bark and hollow logs. The core of Yolngu society and art is an understanding of existence that places people within a coherent, cyclical, infinite tapestry of meaning which gives individuals within the community an unconditional identity and belonging. This world is made and remade continually through the exercise of language, ceremony, art, song, dance and ritual. This ongoing expression of culture is perhaps what makes these works so authentically contemporary and these artists so vital in renourishing a conversation that has been diminished within wider contemporary art circles. It is “Ceremony” that continues to hold the community intact and allows thoughts and actions of this relatively tiny group of humanity in North East Arnhemland to pool into the broader global stream, to inform the enquiry and join the contemporary dialog : What is it to be human? Where do we come from? What should we do? The work in this exhibition stands as vital contemporary art regardless of its ethnographic depth. Unlike much of Western art there is a certainty and surety within the architecture of these works. Although shunned and sidelined by the dominant Anglo culture, the artists represented here in this exhibition state their own understandings of these big questions boldly and unwaveringly. The designs, markings and even the base material of this exhibition are therefore all stamped uniquely. Harvey Art projects USA is proud to present this stunning exhibition of paintings on bark, larrakitj (hoolow log) and board from one of Australia’s leading Indigenous art centers. We gratefully acknowledge the generous support of Art Coordinator Kade McDonald and sincerely thank all participating artists.


Artist Nonggirrnga Marawili painting with natural ochers on board at Yirrkala 2014


GARAWAN WANAMBI Natural pigments on board 48” x 48” (122 x 122 cm) Catalog #4661Z


GARAWAN WANAMBI Natural pigments on board 48” x 48” (122 x 122 cm) Catalog #4661W


NONGGIRRINGA MARAWILI Lightning natural earth pigments on bark 69 x 24� (176 x 62cm) Buku Catalog #4460O


NONGGIRRINGA MARAWILI Yathpika natural earth pigments on bark 72 x 32� (183 x 83cm) Buku Catalog #4431I


DJIRRIRRA WUNUNGMURRA Yukuwa (detail) natural earth pigments on hollow log 87� (222cm) Buku Catalog #4501X


NONGGIRRINGA MARAWILI Larrakitj (detail) natural earth pigments on hollow log 88 “ (225cm) Buku Catalog #4470A


WATURR GUMANA Birrkuda Ringitj (detail) natural earth pigments on hollow log 98� (250cm) Buku Catalog #3502X


DJIRRIRRA WUNUNGMURRA Buyku (detail) natural earth pigments on hollow log 78� (198cm) Buku Catalog #3639I


Malaluba Gumana Waturr Gumana Djambawa Marawili AM Garawan Marawili Napuwarri Marawili Nonggirrnga Marawili Naminapu Maymuru-White Rerrkirrwanga Munungurr Wolpa Wanambi Wukun Wanambi Djirrirra Wunungmurra Barrupu Yunupingu Nyapanyapa Yunupingu Gulumbul Yunupingu

R: LARRAKITJ INSTALLATION Natural earth pigments on hollow log


On view July 2015 Sun Valley, USA 391 First Avenue North Ketchum, ID 83340 USA info@harveyartprojects.com | Phone (208) 309-8676 All images courtesy of Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Center Copyright 2015 Harvey Art Projects USA,

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Buku SunValley2015  

Harvey Art Projects USA is proud to bring this stunning new exhibit of paintings on bark, hollow-log and board from Australia's celebrated a...

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