Maningrida Arts and Culture

Top End Bugi - Wak Wak - Apphia Wurrkidj

$1,160

The 'rarrk', or abstract crosshatching, on this work, represents the design for the crow totem ancestor called 'Djimarr'. Today this being exists in the form of a rock, which is permanently submerged at the bottom of Kurrurldul Creek. The 'Djimarr' rock in the stream at Kurrurldul is said to move around and call out in a soft hooting tone at night. Both the stone itself and the area around it are considered sacred. 

The imagery represents the rock mentioned above at the bottom of Kurrurldul creek, which is the final transmutation of the dreaming ancestor 'Djimarr'. Finally, the pattern used here is also the crow design used in the sacred 'Mardayin' ceremony, which is a large regional patri-moiety ceremony now rarely conducted in central and eastern Arnhem Land.

Top End Bugi is a showcase of innovation and expertise from the Arnhem Land Artists of Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka Centre, Ngukurr Arts Aboriginal Corporation and Maningrida Arts and Culture. Presenting a series of works on Stringybark and selection of Larrakitj, Top End Bugi celebrates the creativity and diversity of bark artists, emerging and established. Connecting city and country, Top End Bugi is a spotlight for contemporary bark art, combining Top End, a collective term given to the northernmost region of the Northern Territory and Bugi, the Darug (Sydney Aboriginal Language) word for bark.  

As a cultural practice, bark art is a continuation of tradition, passing down sacred stories, designs and teachings through intricate strokes. The collection process begins after the wet season when the Stringybark tree is stripped, cured by fire, weighted and left to dry. Then using earth pigments, designs are layered, often with crosshatched strokes that speak to the cultural identity and visual language of the artist.  

Please Note: This exhibition runs from September 19 – November 1. All exhibition orders with Click & Collect will be available for collection from November 2 once the exhibition ends. All exhibition orders with shipping, will ship from November 4.

Artist: Apphia Wurrkidj
Title: Wak Wak, 261-20.
Medium: Bark Painting
Dimensions: 94 x 26cm

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