Magical transformations: Yawkyawk and Ngalyod become art


Our spirits lie in the water … We didn’t create this culture recently. It lies in the ground. It lies in the earth, but we are bringing it out. We bring it out and paint it on bark, where we can see it.1Ivan Namirrkki, ‘Our spirits lie in the water’, artist interview with Luke Taylor, translated by Murray Garde, in Hetti Perkins, Crossing Country: The Alchemy of Western Arnhem Land Art, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2004, p. 113. This publication is an invaluable resource on the transformational beings represented in Kuninjku art and the artists whose work is discussed in this article.

In Bininj art of Western Arnhem Land,2Bininj Gunwok is a pan dialectical language spoken by Bininj people of Western Arnhem Land of which there are six dialects. Kuninjku and Kundedjnjenghmi are the two dialects that I refer to in this essay. All of the artists apart from Lofty Bardayal Nadjamerrek are Kuninjku artists from the Tomkinson/ Mann/ Liverpool Rivers. See Murray Garde, Culture, Interaction and Person Reference in an Australian Language: an Ethnography of Bininj Gunwok Communication, John Benjamin Publishing Company, Amsterdam, 2013. the unseen is often rendered tangible in forms that are governed by complex interrelated factors. These may include an artist’s clan and moiety affiliations or specific cultural and ritual knowledge; for instance, connections with djang (sacred places), rarrk (crosshatching) style, pictorial imagination and guidance from an artist’s mentors. Structuring and overlying the figurations of various anthropomorphic and zoomorphic ancestral beings, also called djang, are disparate patterns, mellifluous lines, dotted subdivisions and meticulous geometries of rarrk that constitute and distinguish the alchemy of an individual’s hand and vision. These intricate designs encode many layers of meaning and reveal the inner or spiritual power, the essence, of an artist’s identity in land and water, and the authority to speak for and represent djang and ancestral beings in art that is both conceptual and pictorial.

In Kuninjku art, two female transformational beings whose stories are linked – the Yawkyawk or Ngalkunburriyaymi (the young girl, mermaid spirit) and Ngalyod, the Rainbow Serpent, an all-powerful ancestral creator) are magically brought to life. These two shape-shifting, hybrid beings who are manifest in phenomena of the natural world at specific sites are conceived very differently by individual artists, who combine attributes of living creatures perceived in nature, as a means of accentuating their esoteric power. The Yawkyawk narrative of transformation is closely intertwined with Ngalyod at certain sacred locations. These places are often the focus of specific representations of Yawkyawk and Ngalyod by Kuninjku artists of different clans and moieties. As with other Kuninjku creation stories that are transmitted orally, the nuanced narratives of Yawkyawk and Ngalyod are constantly shifting and exist in various iterations specific to individual artists, who are connected to their djang.

The works offer complex meanings, some of which are not generally revealed to balanda (non-Aboriginal outsiders). They may be considered concurrently as maps of specific sites, creation stories, statements of identity, re-enactments of ceremony, homages to mentors and senior relatives, and as aesthetic inventions. The images of Yawkyawk and Ngalyod are intimately associated with songs, dances, stories and communal ritual; they derive from both art and nature, as determined by the Kuninjku apprentice system of learning to make art, while being introduced to Kuninjku ontology and ceremonial life. None of the artists work in a vacuum, separate from other artists or from the tutelage and inspiration of senior mentors.

Yawkyawk

Yawkyawk means ‘young woman’ or ‘young woman spirit being’ in the Kuninjku/ Kunwinjku language of Western Arnhem Land. Yawkyawk are amphibious female water spirits, often referred to by balanda as ‘mermaids’, who are usually described and represented on stringybark or in sculpture as hybrid creatures with a female human head and torso, scaled abdomen and the tail of a fish.

The Yawkyawk freshwater spirits, Likanaya and Marrayka, are believed to have traversed Kuninjku Country in human form and to have transformed into young girl spirits with fish tails because they made camp too close to the sacred waterhole of Ngalyod. Their legs and feet metamorphosed into tails of fish, owing to this trespass on sacred ground. They live in freshwater streams, billabongs and rock pools where fish and small insects are said to be transformations of these young women, and trailing water weed is believed to signify their long hair. Moreover, shadows may be seen as they run away from humans who come too near these water sources. These mermaid spirits are amphibious and may sun themselves on the banks of waterholes in cold weather. Kuninjku liken specific geographical features to her body parts; for instance, a bend in a river may be said to be her tail and a billabong her head.3Simona Barkus, ‘Anniebell Marrngamarrnga’, in Brenda L. Croft, Culture Warriors: National Indigenous Art Triennial, National Gallery of Australia, 2007, p. 114. Yawkyawk stories link clans and clan estates across Kuninjku Country and are celebrated by Kuninjku people in art, song and dance.

Ngalyod

Ngalyod, the Rainbow Serpent is an all-powerful female ancestral creator of the Bininj people, capable of benevolent and malevolent actions that are embedded in the animate topography of djang, as anthropologist Dr Luke Taylor explains:

Kuninjku people believe that the world began with the birth of all the ancestral beings, in human and animal form, who came out of the body of the Rainbow Serpent. These beings went on their separate journeys and moulded the shape of the world through their creative actions … At the end of these creation journeys the Rainbow Serpent swallowed the beings back into the earth … Kuninjku call the particular sacred sites where these beings entered the earth djang and these places emanate the everlasting power of the original beings.4Luke Taylor, World of Dreamings exhibition, National Gallery of Australia, 2000 <www.nga.gov.au/Dreaming/Index.cfm?Refrnc=Ch3>, accessed 14 Feb. 2019.

For Kuninjku, Ngalyod is visible standing in the sky as the rainbow and, similar to the Yawkyawk, is mostly associated with bodies of water such as billabongs, creeks, rivers and waterfalls, where she resides. Therefore she is responsible for the production of most water plants that grow near water, such as waterlilies, water vines, algae and palms. The roar of waterfalls in the Escarpment Country is said to be her voice and large holes in the stony banks of rivers and cliff faces are said to be her tracks. She is held in awe because of her apparent ability to renew her life by shedding her skin and emerging anew. The delek (white ochre) that Kuninjku people use to create brilliant white paint for bark paintings, body decoration and rock art, is believed to be the transformed faeces of Ngalyod at Kudjarnngal. Moreover, Kuninjku often describe her as a fearsome creature who swallows humans only to regurgitate them, transformed by her blood.

Makers of Yawkyawk and Ngalyod

Kuninjku artist Owen Yalandja is guardian of the Yawkyawk associated with the Yirridjdja moiety djang of Mirrayar billabong, adjacent to Barrihidjowkeng in his Dangkorlo clan estate.5Maningrida Arts & Culture, Owen Yalandja, <maningrida.com/artist/owen-yalandja>, accessed 14 Feb. 2019. Differently, Duwa artists, brothers Jimmy Njiminjuma, John Mawurndjul and James Iyuna, and Mick Kubarrkku and his sons, represent Yawkyawk associated with djang sites in the estates of the Kurulk and Kulmaru clans respectively. These inherited relationships to place and the ancestral narratives embedded within a sentient landscape underscore these artists’ works.

 Yalandja, the undisputed master of Yawkyawk in three-dimensional form, was introduced to carving by his father, Crusoe Kuningbal, a great singer and sculptor of mimih spirit beings. During the Second World War, Kuningbal moved to Milingimbi Mission where he became familiar with the mokuy (trickster spirits) used in the mourning ceremonies of clan groups in Central Arnhem Land. Later in Maningrida, he became renowned as a singer of kunborrk (traditional) songs used in the Kuninjku Mamurrng trade ceremony and for initiating the creation of distinctive dotted wooden sculptures of mimih spirits also used in the same ceremony.6Luke Taylor, Outstation: Works by Ivan Namirrkki, John Mawurndjul, Owen Yalandja and Paul Nabulumo, Outstation Gallery, Darwin, 2018, np. Kuningbal further painted images of mimih spirits and of dotted Yawkyawk on bark that closely resembled his softwood carvings of mimih. Interestingly, he painted dots on to the bodies of these Yawkyawk who created an important site at Barrihidjowkeng and left behind their creative essence, manifest in the presence of small fish in deep waterholes. Significantly, before his death in 1984, Kuningbal established an outstation at Barrihidjowkeng and encouraged his wife, Lena Kurinya, and their sons, Crusoe Kurddal and Owen Yalandja, to make carvings of mimih that initially followed his schema.

During the early 1990s, Yalandja focused on making Yawkyawk carvings and developed his own sculptural ideas by modifying the template of the dotted mimih learnt from his father. Many of Yalandja’s manifestations of Yawkyawk are distinguished by an elegant bipartite body and a sinuous fishtail standing on two triangular points. He experimented with the dot patterns his father taught him, painting them with exquisite delicacy on the upper body and ultimately diverged by creating multiple markings to suggest scales on the abdomens of the watery female amphibians. In depicting the fish scales of his mermaid sculptures, first as delicate arcs and then later as fine V-shapes, Yalanda effected an innovation. These V-shapes may be overlaid with chevrons or form alternating dark and light triangles that cascade down the lower body. Yalandja’s preference for black and white as background colours, rather than the customary red or yellow ochre with rows of black and white dots used by his father, represents another point of departure. Significantly, rather than softwood of the cotton tree (Bombax ceiba sp.) often chosen by Kuninjku carvers of mimih, Yalandja prefers to carve wood of the Kurrajong tree (Brachychiton populneus sp.) because of its strength across the grain, which enables him to incorporate three-dimensional carved elements without the trunk splitting.7ibid. He also selects slender twisting Kurrajong trees that he sculpts into sinuous spirit forms suggestive of Yawkyawk moving in water as evidenced in Yawkyawk, 2002. Subsequently, he has favoured using massive Kurrajong logs that enable him to create voluminous and curvaceous female forms.

In 2010, Yalandja carved a monumental installation of three Yawkyawk spirits, Yawkyawk, 2010. The work is exceptional for its variation of form and precision of detail and shows the artist at the height of his powers, constantly challenging himself to increase the expressiveness, femaleness and physical presence of these young girl spirits. One is a fantastical androgynous double-headed form, exploiting the natural fork of the tree hollow to suggest a pair of Yawkyawk together in one place. Another, represented with sculptured breasts, is pregnant with an embryonic Yawkyawk developing inside her abdomen. The third is encircled by sinuous Yawkyawk spirits wrapping themselves around her female body.

Yalandja’s love of feathering his Yawkyawk carvings with shimmering tiny dots and scales of increasing density and refinement has in turn inspired a new direction in his practice. He now makes lorrkon (hollow logs) and bark paintings composed entirely of Yawkyawk’s scales or represents Yawkyawk floating across the irregular sheet of stringybark or over the curved surface of the lorrkon. Significantly, these radical abstractions formed solely of miniscule monochrome V-shape markings, which conceptualise the presence of the Yawkyawk at Barrihidjowkeng, parallel pioneering Kuninjku artist John Mawurndjul’s ethereal paintings and lorrkon solely comprised of striations of rarrk signifying djang at numerous Duwa moiety sites in his Country.

David Milaybuma is another artist of the Dangkorlo clan, who was entitled to paint Yawkyawk at Mirrayar billabong, near Barrihidjowkeng. A painter rather than a sculptor, Milaybuma was mentored by senior artist Mick Mandanjku and later worked with Bill Birriyabirriya at Marrkolidjban. His work in X-ray style is notable for the tight, ordered use of parallel bands of crosshatching, relieved by dotted infill. In his later work, Milaybuma added elaborated diamond designs with hard edges, as seen in his Yawkyawk, c. 1980. In accord with rock art, Yawkyawk’s head is shown in profile, her eye depicted with an optic nerve, her backbone precisely delineated and her breasts emerging from the sides of her upper torso. Unlike in rock art, where figures are shown in X-ray or with dotted infill, Milaybuma embellishes her body with exquisite crosshatched designs in parallel colours that articulate precise diamonds. The rarrk is formed of immaculate straight lines on the elongated body, which tapers to a pointed fish tail with multiple fins.

In contrast to Yalandja and Milaybuma, three brothers of the Kurulk clan, Jimmy Njiminjuma, John Mawurndjul and James Iyuna, represent Yawkyawk as sensed in freshwater sites at Kubumi or Dilebang, rather than at Barrihidjowkeng.8Jon Altman & Apolline Kohen, Mumeka to Milmilngkan: Innovation in Kurulk Art, ANU Drill Hall Gallery, Canberra, 2006. Known as painters rather than sculptors, these artists were instructed in Kuninjku ritual law by their father Anchor Kulunba,9Jon Altman, ‘Anchor Kulunba: the artist at work’ in Hetti Perkins (ed.), Crossing Country: The Alchemy of Western Arnhem Land Art, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, 2004, pp. 156‒60. a maker of large conical fish traps. Their individual rarrk styles echo those of a school of artists led by Peter Marralwanga, who with leading artist Yirawala before him worked at Marrkolidjban. Marralwanga placed emphasis on the sacred geometry of rarrk, inspired by ochre body designs from the secret Mardayin ceremony. In his works, the bodies of Ngalyod and other ancestral beings swell almost to the edges of the bark and enable Njiminjuma to display a dazzling array of rarrk variations. Ultimately, in the work of Njiminjuma, any notion of a figure is replaced by ethereal crosshatched markings and dotted subdivisions that encode cultural identity and place. The Yawkyawk representations by these three brothers, who have experienced similar cultural and artistic instruction, demarcate differences in style and intention and place of residence.

The slender body of Njiminjuma’s Yawkyawk spirit, 1990, fills a narrow sheet of stringybark. It is covered in parallel chevron designs that bear dotted subdivisions referencing Mardayin designs associated with her djang. Significantly, Njiminjuma highlights her breasts, arms, face and hair, fishtail and waterlilies using brilliant white delek (ochre pigment) believed to be the metamorphosed faeces of Ngalyod. The waterlilies emerge from her hair and lower body symbolic of her presence in water. Her white face, suggestive of a human skull, signifies her spiritual properties. Njiminjuma’s schematic Yawkyawk spirit, 2002, by contrast is a columnar sculpture with head, facial features, arms, breasts and mermaid tail. The simpler, more vigorously painted rarrk of crosshatched sections overlaid with vertical and horizontal lines is characteristic of Njiminjuma’s painting style, post 2000. Yawkyawk renders a commanding presence of an ephemeral ancestral being, less ethereal than her painted counterpart.

John Mawurndjul’s schematic sculpture, Yawkyawk at Dilebang, 1998, is a radical abstraction of the young freshwater spirit’s body and of the sacred site of Dilebang. Apart from her eyes and mouth, which form the tiny head of the flat columnar sculpture, Yawkyawk’s physical attributes are not represented. Her body, divided into two rectangular forms, is infilled with shimmering rarrk painted onto a black plane, signifying Dilebang, an important ceremonial place for the artist that contains remains of Buluwana and other early ancestors. The concentric circles at the base indicate waterholes associated with Yawkyawk.

At Kudjarnngal, Ngalyod is said to have killed and swallowed two young girls, the Yawkyawk or Ngalkunburruyaymi. They angered Ngalyod by cooking food too near a billabong where he lived and he emerged from the deep waters to devour them. Kuninjku people visit this important site to collect nodules of delek (brilliant white pigment) used for ceremony and in bark paintings. This pigment is said to be the transformed faeces of Ngalyod, another form of the bones of the Yawkyawk beings swallowed by Ngalyod. Mawurndjul and Njiminjuma have represented this ancestral event, which is embedded in the land in paintings, showing the powerful serpent encircling the two women. The bodies of the two women are depicted as broken in pieces and bones. In other more radical representations of this ancestral event painted in 1988, Mawurndjul conceptualises the Yawkyawk at Kudjarnngal as circular forms within a complex geometry of rarrk.10These works, Yawkyawk spirits: The site at Kudjarnngal, 1988, and Yawkyawk spirits: Waterholes at Kudjarnngal, 1988, are in the collection of the National Gallery of Australia. See John Mawurndjul: I am the Old and the New, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 2018, pp. 130–1.

James Iyuna’s Yawkyawk spirits at Barrihdjowkkeng, 1990, is an elongated painting of two narrow twisting Yawkyawk at a waterhole, entangled with water weed and waterlilies. Iyuna has drawn Yawkyawk with white dotted red-ochre lines over a rectangular ground of delicate rarrk on a red ochre surface. Water plants and waterlilies are drawn in sepia, mirroring the shape and rhythm of the spirits’ forms. A shaft of brilliant delek in the upper left indicates the presence of Ngalyod at this waterhole alluding to the Yawkyawk’s transformation.

Dick Nadjolorro and Anniebell Marngamarrnga

In contrast to these three brothers whose absorption with rarrk leads away from figuration towards paintings of seemingly abstract geometry, the recently deceased Dick Nadjolorro, and his wife Anniebell Marngamarrnga used painted and woven rarrk designs as subsidiary elements in their figurative works.

Dick Nadjolorro was the son of the significant artist and ceremonial leader Mick Kubarkku who instructed him in ritual matters and taught him how to paint. He and his brother Paul Nabulumo look after Kubumi, the djang of the Duwa moiety Yawkyawk. Interestingly, the artist narrated the creation story of Yawkyawk around the surface of a lorrkon (hollow log) by representing images of Ngalyod, the Rainbow Serpent and Yawkyawk, as a freshwater young girl as well as transformed into a mermaid. The lorrkon is painted with parallel bands of rarrk in alternating ochre colours interspersed with irregular vertical and horizontal dotted subdivisions – his personal style echoing that of his father. Upon this rarrk ground, images of Ngalyod and two states of Yawkyawk are outlined in white with dotted subdivisions on their bodies, at variance to the overall rhythm of the rarrk patterning.

This is an assured example of the artist’s maturing style that reflects his lineage, honouring the rarrk style of his father and mentor, Kubarkku, but also introduces quirky and unexpected figurative drawings of Ngalyod and Yawkyawk before and after the young girl is transformed into a mermaid, which encircle and enliven the lorrkon with a story of transformation and presence in freshwater places of his Kulmaru clan.

Starkly different in medium and scale are the monumental Yawkyawk weavings of Djangkorlo artist Anniebell Marngamarrnga. She has had a long art apprenticeship, being taught to weave by her mother Nancy Djalumba (weaver Anchor Kulunba’s daughter and John Mawurndjul’s sister) and how to paint by her husband. She first began to weave coiled baskets, twined bags and string bags, then switching to painting on bark and lorrkon with her husband. She has distilled the expertise from both of these sources and combined it with her experience in both mediums to create her own singular artistic vision of cultural and aesthetic power: larger-than-life weavings of Yawkyawk, which she is authorised to make by Nadjolorro. As the artist explains:

My favourite subject is to represent the Yawkyawk spirt who lives in the water at Kubumi. It is my husband’s Dreaming. I represent her in my bark paintings, in my timber carvings and also in my weaving. I came up with the idea to make flat Yawkyawks from Pandanus [Pandanus spiralis]. My husband helps me to build the bamboo frame and I then weave with colourful Pandanus in the same technique I used when making twined bags.11Simona Barkus, ‘Anniebell Marrngamarrnga’, in Brenda L. Croft, Culture Warriors: National Indigenous Art Triennial, National Gallery of Australia, 2007, p. 113.

In Marrngamarrnga’s Yawkyawk, 2007, two babies are beautifully woven into the swollen body of the heavily pregnant Yawkyawk. Their pale open-mouthed faces, curved bodies and fish tails echo those of their mother. The Yawkyawk is dominated by swirling optical rows of pink, yellow and orange bands of woven Pandanus. The artist’s finely woven rarrk on gigantic scale is as delicate and as intricate as the painted rarrk for which Kuninjku artists Marralwanga, Njiminjuma and Mawurndjul are renowned. Interestingly, her woven representations of Yawkyawk have more bodily presence than the slender, wraith-like forms of Marina Murdilnga, her husband’s sister.

Marrngamarrnga’s output is small and she takes much time considering the construction of these whimsical figures that have now become architectonic. She profoundly understands the medium and never sacrifices sensitive detailing in her work. Her woven Yawkyawk are designed to hang dynamically from the wall as if swimming in a deep body of water.

Different painted representations of Ngalyod

Just as Kuninjku artists differ in their representations of Yawkyawk spirits, which give tangible form to the intangible, individual artists also embody Ngalyod in myriad ways, thereby revealing their artistic lineage, specific cultural knowledge and ancestral connections with land. Kuninjku often work in small family groups at specific places.12Luke Taylor, Seeing the Inside: Bark Painting in Western Arnhem Land, Clarendon Press, Oxford, UK, 1996. Within these groups of artists developing together, given tutelage by senior artists and ritual leaders, each artist develops a signature style and way of representing Ngalyod, other ancestral beings and their connections with the sentient landscape.13Hetti Perkins (ed.), Crossing Country: The Alchemy of Western Arnhem Land Art, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, 2004.

Artists conceive of Ngalyod as an extraordinary composite creature, a serpent whose scales are indicated with complex crosshatched patterns and whose body often swells to encompass most of the bark surface. Moreover, symbolic of her transformative power, Ngalyod’s body changes shape to incorporate one or more of the following features: jaw of crocodile, body of kangaroo, chest bulge of emu and horns of buffalo.

Marralwanga’s Rainbow Serpent of the Dreaming, 1975, represents Ngalyod as a twisting, thrusting serpent with ears of a macropod whose body is embellished with scales formed of rarrk designs that gyrate at different angles. The trees that sprout from her body and the tract of land emerging from her tail reveal Ngalyod’s immense power as creator of land and waterways and also as an animating force eternally present in the land. David Milaybuma also shows her as a transforming creature with the head and ears of a kangaroo and serpent’s body, a mother creator who encircles her eggs.

John Mawurndjul represents her in a fiercer manifestation with ferocious crocodile teeth, as a destroyer, devouring anthropomorphic beings (below). He also represents her in an equally fearsome guise with the head and horns of a water buffalo. This powerful and feral animal introduced to Arnhem Land during the 1820s has now been incorporated into the mythology of Ngalyod. Alternatively Curly Barrdkadubu represents Ngalyod with a crocodile snout, teeth and kangaroo ears, but depicts her backbone in X-ray in accord with rock art. His style of alternating colours of meticulous crosshatching resembles that of Milaybuma.

In marked contrast to these Kuninjku artists, who live on outstations in the Maningrida hinterland and marketed their art via the community art centre Maningrida Arts & Culture, artist Bardayal Nadjamerrek was a Kundedjnjenghmi-speaking artist whose Mok clan lands were located on the Arnhem Land escarpment, the Kuwadehwadeh.14Lofty Bardayal Nadjamerrek AO, ‘Barridjangonhmi bim! Paint it for me’ in Hetti Perkins (ed.), Crossing Country: The Alchemy of Western Arnhem Land Art, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, pp. 96‒106. He marketed his work through Injalak Arts and lived in various outstations of Gunbalanya (Oenpelli) before finally returning to Kabulwarnamyo the sacred site of mankung djang (wild honey). Bardayal was taught to paint on rock by his father Yanjorluk and painted on bark in the X-ray style from about 1960. His Ngalyod, 1981 (below), reveals his singular rarrk style distinguished by single hatching in red and black on white that form triangular and diamond patterns. The body of Ngalyod stands stark on a red ochre ground, echoing Kunwinjku images on rock. She has the long snout, scaled backbone and tail of a crocodile, whiskers of a fish and ears, legs and body of a kangaroo.

Through the magic of individual artists’ imagination and the brilliance of their mellifluous line, two unseen transformational female spirit beings are given palpable presence and visibility in contemporary paintings and sculptures. The artists’ conceptions of Yawkyawk and Ngalyod differ markedly, revealing their diverse individual styles. These female ancestral beings with magical properties elude definition and are rendered with more immediacy through the alchemy of the individual artist’s hand and eye.

Judith Ryan AM is Senior Curator, Indigenous Art, National Gallery of Victoria.

Notes

1

Ivan Namirrkki, ‘Our spirits lie in the water’, artist interview with Luke Taylor, translated by Murray Garde, in Hetti Perkins, Crossing Country: The Alchemy of Western Arnhem Land Art, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2004, p. 113. This publication is an invaluable resource on the transformational beings represented in Kuninjku art and the artists whose work is discussed in this article.

2

Bininj Gunwok is a pan dialectical language spoken by Bininj people of Western Arnhem Land of which there are six dialects. Kuninjku and Kundedjnjenghmi are the two dialects that I refer to in this essay. All of the artists apart from Lofty Bardayal Nadjamerrek are Kuninjku artists from the Tomkinson/ Mann/ Liverpool Rivers. See Murray Garde, Culture, Interaction and Person Reference in an Australian Language: an Ethnography of Bininj Gunwok Communication, John Benjamin Publishing Company, Amsterdam, 2013.

3

Simona Barkus, ‘Anniebell Marrngamarrnga’, in Brenda L. Croft, Culture Warriors: National Indigenous Art Triennial, National Gallery of Australia, 2007, p. 114.

4

Luke Taylor, World of Dreamings exhibition, National Gallery of Australia, 2000 <www.nga.gov.au/Dreaming/Index.cfm?Refrnc=Ch3>, accessed 14 Feb. 2019.

5

Maningrida Arts & Culture, Owen Yalandja, <maningrida.com/artist/owen-yalandja>, accessed 14 Feb. 2019.

6

Luke Taylor, Outstation: Works by Ivan Namirrkki, John Mawurndjul, Owen Yalandja and Paul Nabulumo, Outstation Gallery, Darwin, 2018, np.

7

ibid.

8

Jon Altman & Apolline Kohen, Mumeka to Milmilngkan: Innovation in Kurulk Art, ANU Drill Hall Gallery, Canberra, 2006.

9

Jon Altman, ‘Anchor Kulunba: the artist at work’ in Hetti Perkins (ed.), Crossing Country: The Alchemy of Western Arnhem Land Art, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, 2004, pp. 156‒60.

10

These works, Yawkyawk spirits: The site at Kudjarnngal,1988, and Yawkyawk spirits: Waterholes at Kudjarnngal,1988, are in the collection of the National Gallery of Australia. See John Mawurndjul: I am the Old and the New, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 2018, pp. 130–1.

11

Simona Barkus, ‘Anniebell Marrngamarrnga’, in Brenda L. Croft, Culture Warriors: National Indigenous Art Triennial, National Gallery of Australia, 2007, p. 113.

12

Luke Taylor, Seeing the Inside: Bark Painting in Western Arnhem Land, Clarendon Press, Oxford, UK, 1996.

13

Hetti Perkins (ed.), Crossing Country: The Alchemy of Western Arnhem Land Art, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, 2004.

14

Lofty Bardayal Nadjamerrek AO, ‘Barridjangonhmi bim! Paint it for me’ in Hetti Perkins (ed.), Crossing Country: The Alchemy of Western Arnhem Land Art, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, pp. 96‒106.