Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Centre

Gara (String Figure) - Djatji Garrawurra (52 x 78.5cm)

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Located 700km east of Darwin in Yirrkala, a small Aboriginal community in North Eastern Arnhem Land, Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka Centre is a First Nations owned and run hub of creativity. Prints & Poles is a showcase of this creativity, featuring an array of larrakitj and works on paper including a selection of etchings, which highlight the culturally rich and diverse practice of Yolŋu artists.  

Buku-Larrŋgay – “the feeling on your face as it is struck by the first rays of the sun” 
Mulka – “a sacred but public ceremony”  

This is the third series of prints made as a result of the Yirrkala community’s reconnection with matjka – a field of knowledge retention passed down through the use of string figures. Djätji has rendered the matjka for gara – a three-pronged fishing spear. 

First the string was made from the pounded and softened inner bark of Darraŋguḻk (Kurrajong) and then separated fibres are twined on the thigh and the retwined into a two-ply string. In Yirrkala, the string figures were transferred by the artists from their hands to cardboard supports and then using a soft-ground etching technique pressed, leaving an imprint capturing the fine textured detail of the bush string.  

Title: Gara (String Figure)
Artist: Djatji Garrawurra
Medium: Etching
Dimensions (cm): 52 x 78.5cm (Incl Frame), paper: 39 x 65.5cm 
Frame: White Grain Glass Frame
Catalogue Number: 3386-19, Edition 1/AP

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