Yawk Yawk 1994 bears artist's name, language group, location, title, medium and catalogue number 1795 on Maningrida Arts and Culture label and Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi label verso natural earth pigments on eucalyptus bark 166.5 x 50.5cm (65 9/16 x 19 7/8in).
PROVENANCE Maningrida Arts and Culture, Maningrida, Northern Territory Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne Private collection
Mawurndjul was taught by his elder brother Jimmy Njiminjuma with whom he painted collaboratively until the late 1970s. The Yawk Yawk was a regular theme of his brother's paintings and also for Mawurndjul early in his career and into the early 1990s in larger format as in this example. One can see the influence of Njiminjuma in this work where the artist chose to leave the Yawk Yawk's hair white rather than infilling it with rarrk - a technique used to give more definition to the figure. Here it has the effect of a halo lending the figure a 'supernatural' air. The water lillies attached to the archs at either side of the Yawk Yawk's tail may indicate her transformative powers - a motif commonly used by the artist for this reason when depicting Ngalyod, the Rainbow Serpent.
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