An image of Mimihs at Milmilngkan

John Mawurndjul

(Australia 1952 – )

Maningrida, Arnhem region, Milmilngkan, Arnhem region
Language group
Kuninjku, Arnhem region

Mimihs at Milmilngkan

Other titles:
Mimihs at Minmilgan, Mimih at Milmilngkan
Not on display
Further information

John Mawurndjul's painting 'Mimihs at Milmilngkan' 1989 is an outstanding example of the late 1980s Mawurndjul. During his painting career the artist has gradually moved from depicting familiar representations of such spiritual entities as Ngalyod the rainbow serpent and the mermaid-like female spirits or yawkyawks, to dazzling abstract patterning that completely covers the bark. These 'abstract' bark paintings represent body painting for the Mardayin ceremonies and relate to sites near his homeland at Mumeka. There is also a connection with the dazzling optical effects associated with the skin of the rainbow serpent.

Mawurndjul is arguably the finest bark painter working at the moment. He is particularly noted for his fine rarrk and the distinctive patterning that is displayed in the painting 'Untitled' 2000. Mawurndjul was tutored by his brother Jimmy Njiminjuma (b.1945) and uncle, Peter (Djakku) Marralwanga (c.1916-1987), both superb artists.

John Mawurndjul has had solo exhibitions at Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi in Melbourne since 1991. He regularly shows at Annandale Galleries in Sydney and his work is in many public and private collections in Australia and overseas. Mawurndjul has won several prizes including the 1999 Telstra Bark Painting Award at the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award held by the Museums and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory.

© Australian Art Department, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2002

Place of origin
Milmilngkan, Western Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, Australia
Bark painting
natural pigments on eucalyptus bark
249.0 x 95.0 cm
Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.

Purchased 2002
Accession number
© John Mawurndjul. Licensed by Copyright Agency