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Zoom Bookmark - Barrupu Yunupiŋu, Untitled (Ancestral Fire)
Zoom Bookmark - Barrupu Yunupiŋu, Untitled (Ancestral Fire)

Bookmark - Barrupu Yunupiŋu, Untitled (Ancestral Fire)



This bookmark has been designed and made exclusively in Melbourne for the NGV design store to celebrate the exhibition, Bark Ladies: Eleven Artists from Yirrkala. 

Bark Ladies: Eleven Artists from Yirrkala showcases the NGV’s extraordinary collection of work by Yolŋu women artists from the Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka Centre (Buku), in North-East Arnhem Land. Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka Centre is the Indigenous community run art centre located in Yirrkala, a small Aboriginal community, approximately 700 km east of Darwin. According to Buku, under Yolŋu Law the ‘Land’ extends to include sea, and both land and sea are connected in a single cycle of life for which the Yolŋu hold their songs, sacred designs and art. Yolŋu women at Buku are known for channeling this unique world view into daring and innovative works of art that demonstrate their mastery over the unique medium of bark. 


Dimensions: 4cm x 12cm
Printed on 350gsm card

Designed and made in Melbourne exclusively for the NGV design store.

About the artwork

Barrupu represents the Gumatj miny’tji (sacred design) that embody gurtha (fire). The Gumatj language, Dhuwalandja, is itself known as the tongue of flame, and is believed to incinerate dishonesty. Many early bark paintings by Yolŋu men show this diamond pattern as ordered and tight. This work by Barrupu, however, are characterised by the artist’s spontaneity and gesture. Horizontal and vertical lines represent the different intensities of flame, smoke and ash. Barrupu shows the fire in a macro view, close up and intense, stressing its importance to the Gumatj people.

Barrupu Yunupiŋu
Gumatj 1948–2012
Untitled (Ancestral fire) 2010
earth pigments on Stringybark (Eucalyptus sp.)
105.8 x 68.2 cm
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased with funds donated by Lou and Mary Senini, 2010 (2010.370)
© Barrupu Yunupiŋu, courtesy of Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka Centre, Yirrkala

Bookmark - Barrupu Yunupiŋu, Untitled (Ancestral Fire)



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