Mardayin at Kakodbebuldi, 2000 bears artist's name, language group, clan, social grouping, title, Maningrida Arts & Culture catalogue number 46622000BP and a description of the story depicted on Maningrida Arts & Culture label on the reverse natural earth pigments on eucalyptus bark 157 x 66cm (61 13/16 x 26in).
PROVENANCE: Maningrida Arts & Culture, Maningrida, Northern Territory Purchased from Annandale Galleries, Sydney in September 1999 The Laverty Collection, Sydney
EXHIBITED: Sydney 2000 Olympic Arts Festival - Aboriginal bark paintings, sculptures and hollow logs from Maningrida and Yirrkala Arnhem Land, Annandale Galleries, Sydney, 13 September - 14 October 2000 On loan to the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne from May 2001 - May 2006 Fieldwork: Australian Art 1968 - 2002, curated by Jason Smith and Charles Green, Ian Potter Centre, National Gallery of Victoria: Australian Art at Federation Square, Melbourne, 28 October 2002 16 February 2003 rarrk - John Mawurndul : Journey Through Time in Northern Australia, Museum Tinguely, Basel, Switzerland, 21 September 2005 - 29 January 2006; Sprengel Museum, Hannover, Germany, 19 February - 5 June 2006
LITERATURE: Lisa Prager, Margaret Trudgeon and Dianne Waite (eds.), Fieldwork: Australian Art 1968 2002, exh. cat., Melbourne: National Gallery of Victoria, 2002, listed in catalogue p.149, not illustrated Christian Kaufmann et al., rarrk - John Mawurndul: Journey Through Time in Northern Australia, exh. cat., Belair, South Australia: Crawford House Publishing Australia, 2005, p.134 (illus.), listed p.228 Colin Laverty and Elizabeth Laverty et al., Beyond Sacred:Recent Painting from Australia's Remote Aboriginal Communities- the collection of Colin and Elizabeth Laverty, Melbourne: Hardie Grant Books, 2008, p.42 (illus.) Colin Laverty and Elizabeth Laverty et al., Beyond Sacred: Australian Aboriginal Art - the collection of Colin and Elizabeth Laverty, Edition II, Melbourne: Kleimeyer Industries, 2011, p.317 (illus.)
This work is a very fine example of how Mawurndjul was experimenting and finding new ways to represent Mardayin themes in the late 1990s. The energy of the painting in conveyed by the circular motifs that Mawurndjul interprets as lights glowing in the billabong at Kakodbebuldi, located on his clan lands.
JOHN MAWURNDJUL In 2010, Mawurndjul became a Member of the Order of Australia for 'his service to the preservation of Indigenous culture as the foremost exponent of the Rarrk visual art style'. John Mawurndjul's artistic career spans over 30 years of intense and prolific work. Widely acclaimed both nationally and internationally, Mawurndjul is an innovator and has revolutionised Kuninjku bark painting in both the treatment of rarrk (crosshatching) and in the iconic representation of Mardayin's themes. He was awarded the bark painting prize at the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award in 1999 and 2002 and, in 2003 the prestigious Clemenger Contemporary Art Award. In 2005, Mawurndjul opened the first retrospective of his work at the Musée Jean Tinguely in Basel, Switzerland. In 2006, he worked on a major commission for the Musée du Quai Branly, Paris, France. In 2007, he participated in the first Triennial of Indigenous Art held at the National Gallery of Australia, which toured internationally. In 2009, he received the Melbourne Art Foundation Award for the Visual Arts. The paintings in the Laverty's collection are exceptional examples of Mawurndjul's representations of Mardayin's themes and of his groundbreaking style that still influences Kuninjku artists today.
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