The Gecko and the Mermaid

Djerrkŋu Yunupiŋu and her sister

Free entry

NGV International

Ground Level, Children’s Gallery

17 Dec 21 – 25 Apr 22

Open 10am–5pm daily

Geckos, turtles, lizards and mermaids! This summer’s exhibition introduces two significant contemporary Yolŋu artists from North-East Arnhem Land to our youngest of visitors. Award-winning artist Ms N Yunupiŋu and her sister Eunice Djerrkŋu Yunupiŋu share their stories, culture and language through displays of art and hands-on activities developed especially for the exhibition.

Colourful animations of Ms N Yunupiŋu’s artworks teach children how to count in Yolŋu Matha, the language of Yolŋu people, and a multimedia game gives children insights into the abundance of bush foods and cultural connections to Country.

Eunice Djerrkŋu Yunupiŋu’s fascinating mermaid story, depicted in her bark paintings, is retold in an activity in which children can draw themselves as a mermaid to complete a three-dimensional seashell. Children can also learn about some of the varieties of shellfish called maypal, and their purpose in Yolŋu culture, through playing with soft cushions depicting imagery of maypal in the artist’s mermaid cove.

This exhibition is a collaboration between Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka Centre and the National Gallery of Victoria.

The Gecko and the Mermaid: Djerrkŋu Yunupiŋu and Her Sister is generously supported by Packer Family and Crown Resorts Foundations, City of Melbourne and Spencer Ko.