Barrupu Yunupingu

(1948 – 06 Dec 2012)

Biranybirany (Caledon Bay), Arnhem region, Birritjimi (Wallaby Beach), Arnhem region
Language group
Gumatj, Arnhem region


Yiribana Gallery
Further information

Barrupu Yunupingu came from an esteemed family. Her father was the renowned bark painter Munggurrawuy Yunupingu. Her brothers, Mandawuy (the lead singer of Yothu Yindi) and Galarrwuy (a famed Indigenous leader) have both been Australians of the Year. She is also the sister of Nyapanyapa and Gulumbu Yunupingu, exceptional artists in their own right.

Barrupu Yunupingu grew up at Yirrkala and began working through the Yirrkala printspace in 1996. In 2007 she began painting more consistently on bark and more recently began working on larrakitj (hollow logs). Yunupingu draws on the legacy of her father to create unique works that operate within the strict codes of Gumatj miny'tji (sacred clan designs), yet offer a very individual interpretation of this.

Yunupingu paints with exceptional vigour and conviction, producing striking paintings of Gurtha, the ancestral fire that swept through a huge swathe of eastern Arnhem Land, from Biranybirany to Melville Bay. In these paintings Gurtha and its manifestations as flames, smoke, charcoal, ash and dust are rendered in varying patterns of diamond-shaped miny'tji.

Place of origin
Yirrkala, North-east Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, Australia
Cultural origin
Gumatj, Biranybirany/Yirrkala, Arnhem region
Sculpture, Woodwork
natural pigments on wood
230.0 x 14.0 x 19.0 cm
Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.

Tony Gilbert Bequest Fund 2013
Accession number