An image of Djapu

Marrnyula Mununggurr

(Australia 1964 – )

Yirrkala, Arnhem region
Language group
Djapu, Arnhem region


Not on display
Further information

Marrnyula Mununggurr is among the generation of exceptional female artists working at Yirrkala who have been taught to paint by their fathers and grandfathers and are now painting many of the sites and designs that would once have been the sole domain of men. Mununggurr was instructed in painting by her father, Djutjadjutja Mununggurr and now works closely with her mother, Nonggirrnga Marawili, also an artist. Mununggurr began her career as a printmaker and was for many years the senior printmaker at Yirrkala Printspace. Her attention to detail, consistency in application and clarity of design are informed by this experience.

The strong grid pattern dominating 'Djapu' 2013 refers to the Djapu clan site of Wandawuy. This outstation is surrounded by permanent freshwater and is associated with both Mäna, the ancestral shark and Bol'ngu the thunderman. Rains inspired by the actions of Bol'ngu feed the rivers and fill the billabongs, resulting in a rich sea life that is a home for mäna. The grid refers to the landscape of the site, a network of billabongs surrounded by ridges and high banks and also relates to the grid of a woven fish trap set here by ancestral hunters.

Place of origin
Yirrkala, North-east Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, Australia
Cultural origin
Djapu, Wandawuy/Yirrkala, Arnhem region
Sculpture, Woodwork
natural pigments on wood
262.0 x 15.0 x 17.0 cm
Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.

Tony Gilbert Bequest Fund 2013
Accession number
© Marrnyula Mununggurr, Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Centre, Yirrkala