Marrakulu II bears artist's name and catalogue number 2708A on the reverse natural earth pigments on eucalyptus bark 187 x 64cm
PROVENANCE: Executed in 2005 Buku-Larrnggay Mulka, Yirrkala Superannuation Fund of William Nuttall and Annette Reeves
Cf. For related examples in the collection of Colin and Elizabeth Laverty see C. Laverty et al, Beyond Sacred: Australian Aboriginal Art, The Collection of Colin and Elizabeth Laverty, Edition II, Melbourne: Kleimeyer Industries, 2011, pp.340-341.
Wukun Wanambi was encouraged to begin painting in the 1990s in order to represent saltwater paintings of Marrakulu clan design of which this is an example. The establishment of the 'saltwater project' in the mid 1990s saw the creation of 80 paintings by Yolngu artists which were used to underpin the importance of Sea Country in North East Arnhem Land. Despite the sacredness of such designs and the fact they had not been viewed by younger generations or any members of the public, clan elder Yanggarriny Wunungmurra (1923-2003) showed Wanambi the designs for the Marrakulu saltwater which submerges a rock, Bamurrungu, in Trial Bay (Andrew Blake, 'Wukun Wanambi from Yirrkala' in Laverty, 2011, p.338). It was this early painting, the first to be executed by Wanambi Bamurruu 1998, which won the bark painting category in the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award in the same year. The artist also won the 3D category for the same award in 2010.
The iconography present in this early work including Wawurritjpal Fish imagery and Gapu - water imagery continues to be depicted in the artist's work today. However, in Bamurruŋu the rigid structure of linear clan designs are separated from the Wawurritjpal by bold black lines. Ten years later, in the artist's first solo show at Niagara Galleries in 2005 the Gapu and Wawurritjpal imagery have become integrated, swirling around each other like the water of Trial Bay.
The artist's bark paintings and larrakitji have been accepted into the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards in 2001-2006, Toga exhibition at Parliament House in 2006 and the Togart Contemporary Art Award in 2007. His work can be found in Australian institutions including the National Gallery of Australia, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory as well as the private collections of Kerry Stokes and Holmes à Court. The artist has been represented by Niagara Galleries since 2005.
This painting is sold with accompanying Buku-Larrnggay Mulka documentation.