Naminapu Maymuru-White Exhibition

One of the acclaimed “Bark Ladies” from the Buku-Larrngay Mulka Centre in Northeast Arnhem Land, is currently the focus of a major exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria until 25th April 2022), Naminapu Maymuru-White was born in 1952 and began painting at the age of 12. Almost 60 years later she continues to inspire, with her latest presentation.
Taught by her father, Nänyin Maymuru, and uncle, Narritjin Maymuru, two of the giants of Yol?u art from the golden era in the late 1950s to 1970s, Naminapu was one of the first Yol?u women to paint miny’tji (sacred creation clan designs); later diversifying her practice to include painting, carving, screen-printing, weaving, linocuts and batik work.
Across an extended career, she has exhibited widely and won numerous awards, including two Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards: in 1996 for her limited-edition lino print triptych Nyapilingu; and in 2005 for one of her larrakitj memorial poles.
Despite being represented in many major institutional collections, it is only more recently that Naminapu’s art has gained commercial recognition.
In recent years her works have been featured in sell-out exhibitions in Darwin and Sydney; acquired for the RESONANCES exhibition at Fondation Opale, Switzerland; added to the Kerry Stokes Collection of significant larrakitj (memorial poles); and commissioned for acquisition by both the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) and the University of Virginia’s Kluge-Ruhe Collection.
In Mil?iyawuy—The River of Heaven and Earth, Sullivan+Strumpf present a selection of Naminapu’s intricately realised bark paintings and larrakitj, in what will be the artist’s largest solo exhibition to date, opening Thursday February 3, until Saturday March 12, 2022.
These latest works from one of the Yol?u’s master artists tell ancestral stories from the Ma?galili clan: namely of two Guwak men who drowned at sea and destined themselves as offerings to the night sky, where they and subsequent Ma?galili souls are seen today in the Milky Way.
In the headwaters of the river where they drowned is the site of Yi?alpiya, the freshwater crocodile’s nesting place; and the spirit source for Ma?galili people. 
Naminapu works tell of the stories and events recorded in the Milky Way, and the spirits that follow this pathway to the infinite. The stars in her barks and larrakitj represent the souls of the two Guwak men, and of all of her Ma?galili clan ancestors, past, present and future.
Her stunning floor mural for the NGV’s Bark Ladies, shows supersized detail from one of these paintings, recreated as a series of almost 600 tiles, laid out across the floor of Federation Court.
Visit Naminapu Maymuru-White: Mil?iyawuy—The River of Heaven and Earth in real life, or view online at sullivanstrumpf

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