Artbank staff pick of the month
My Story II, 2018
This work by Dhambit Mununggurr was acquired by Artbank in 2018 just before the artist really smashed through to the very top of the art worlds must have list!
A Yolgnu women from Yirrkala, north-eastern Arnhem Land, Dhambit is the daughter of two of Australia’s most celebrated artists, her mother Gulumbu Yunupingu (1945–2012) and father renowned bark painter Mutitjpuy Mynynggurr. She began her painting career in 2004, however she sustained critical injuries in an accident shortly after and took many years to paint again using her left hand.
My Story II’ is an extraordinary work detailing the artist’s life story and her familial ties. Her maternal grandfather, the great Mungurrawuy Yunupingu who saved the Tree of Life from destruction during the construction of the Nabalco mine is pictured at the top. Further down, Dhambit represents her uncles Galarrwuy and Mandawuy, both Australians of the Year, addressing the Australian parliament in support of the Treaty. The stars adorning the ceiling of the Musee du quai Branly in Paris that were painted by her mother are also present. And finally, Dhambit represents herself as the monolithic rock on Elcho Island.
Her work is free and dramatic in style and concept, yet is instilled with Yolgnu tradition and a deep connection to culture and country. She works with acrylic on bark, which is a style that sits outside of the rules for Buku-Larrngay Mulka art centre in Yirrkala, however just as the artists and community have empowered mediums such as print and video, to respectfully express sacred designs, so too was it decided that Dhambit could work in this non-traditional medium.
Dhambit is just one of many powerhouse female artists working from this incredible community including Noŋgirrŋa Marawili and Nyapanyapa Yunupingu. I am constantly blown away by the powerful barks, canvases, video and new media works coming from this incredible region. Artbank is so lucky to have many of these in the Artbank Collection!
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