- natural ochre on bark
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Garrapara is a striking rocky coastal headland and bay area within Blue Mud Bay, on the eastern coast of Arnhem Land. Sketched in 1803 by English artist William Westall, who worked as a painter on Matthew Flinders’ voyage of discovery to Australia, it is known on maps in English as Mt Grindall and Djalma Bay.
Garrapara is depicted here by the patterns built up in sand and white clay using a Yolŋu clan design called miny’tji. There are songs about the drowning deaths of two canoe-borne heroes by a tsunami that was caused by their transgression of a sacred site. Their deaths led to the first Yiŋapuŋapu mortuary ceremony at a sand sculpture at this place. The bark is shaped to represent that coastline.
Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka Centre, Yirrkala, NT, 2018