Deborah Wurrkidj

Deborah Wurrkidj


Deborah Wurrkidj was born in 1971 at Maningrida in north-central Arnhem Land. Her language is Kuninjku and her moiety is Duwa. Deborah is well known for her fibre weaving, bark painting, woodcarving and printmaking.

Deborah is a versatile artist who has readily adapted to new art forms while retaining strong clan traditions. Her work is tactile and intricate and illustrates the artistic innovation that has occurred in Maningrida over the last 30 years.

Alongside her highly regarded fine art practice Deborah, with her mother, Helen Lanyinwanga, and sister Jennifer Wurrkidj has been working at Bábbarra Designs since 1991. She is a leading textile artist and an integral member of Bábbarra Women’s Centre.

Deborah has exhibited nationally including the 19th Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award in 2002 and is represented in a number of state and private collections.






Maningrida : NT





Date of birth




Past Exhibitions


  • 2020
    RESILIENCE: The power of the past today - Maningrida, Aboriginal Signature Estrangin Fine Art, Brussels, BELGUIM
  • 2018
    From Coast to Escarpment: Spirit Worlds of Maningrida, Michael Reid, Sydney, NSW
  • 2018
    Ngaldjorlhbo | Mother of Everything | Mère de Toute Création, IDAIA, Paris, France
  • 2018
    Karrang Kunred: Motherland, Cross Art Projects, Sydney, NSW
  • 2017
    Karridjowkke Kunronj (Crossing Streams), Nomad Art, Darwin, NT
  • 2014
    Barks, Spirit Figures, Lorrkon and Ceremonial Poles, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne, VIC
  • 2010
    Replant: a new generation of botanical art, National touring exhibition, curated by Nomad Arts, Darwin, NT
  • 2009
    Ancestral Spirit Beings and Ceremonial Lorrkon, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne, VIC
  • 2009
    Fibre & Rarrk - Marina Murdilnga & Debra Wurrkidj, Vivian Anderson Gallery, Melbourne, VIC
  • 2009
    Sculpture Show, Fireworks Gallery, Brisbane, QLD
  • 2009
    Orche - A Study in Materiality, Short Street Gallery, Broome, WA
  • 2009
    26th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Awards Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery Northern Territory, Darwin, NT
  • 2009
    Survey from Maningrida Arts & Culture, The Mossenson Gallery, Perth, WA
  • 2009
    Works in Season: Bark Paintings, Carvings & Weavings, Hogarth Galleries, Sydney, NSW
  • 2009
    During the Wet, Hemphill Fine Arts, Washington, USA
  • 2008
    25th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Awards Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery Northern Territory, Darwin, NT
  • 2008
    Maningrida Art, Chapman Gallery, Canberra
  • 2008
    Maningrida Arising, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne, VIC
  • 2008
    Recent works from Maningrida, Chapman Gallery, Canberra, ACT
  • 2008
    African Muse, Ecorces recentes de Maningrida, Galerie Luc Bertier, Paris, France
  • 2008
    Weaving around the Traps, Chapman & Bailey, Melbourne, VIC
  • 2008
    Womens show, Vivien Anderson Gallery, Melbourne, VIC
  • 2007
    Spirit in Variation Part II, Annandale Galleries, Sydney, NSW
  • 2007
    Bark Paintings from Maningrida, Short Street Gallery, Broome, WA
  • 2006
    Cross-section - a collection of prints from NTU stockroom, NTU, Darwin, NT
  • 2005
    Paris-Djinkarr-Milmilngkan, Maningrida Arts & Culture, Darwin, NT
  • 2004
    Crossing Country - The alchemy of Western Arnhem Land art, AGNSW, Sydney, NSW
  • 2003
    Weave, Federation Centre for the Arts, Bundoora Homestead, VIC
  • 2003
    Weave, NTU Gallery, Darwin, NT
  • 2002
    Maningrida Fibre, Redback Art Gallery, QLD
  • 2002
    19th Telstra National & Torres Strait Islander Art Award Exhibition, Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin
  • 2001
    Good Colour : prints from Maningrida Womens Centre, Raft Artspace, Darwin


  • Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, QLD
  • Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, SA
  • Artbank, Sydney, Australia