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Developed and co-presented by the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) and the Art Gallery of South Australia (AGSA), in association with Maningrida Arts & Culture, this exhibition presents the work of one of Australia’s leading contemporary artists – master bark painter John Mawurndjul.
Bringing forth a tradition shared by generations of Kuninjku artists, Mawurndjul is celebrated for his mastery of rarrk (cross-hatching) and his depiction of djang (sacred sites). Bark paintings and sculptures made over a thirty five year period, from private and public collections, and chosen by the artist, will introduce audiences to the concepts that shape Kuninjku culture and the significant ancestral locations in Central Arnhem Land.
Born in 1952, Mawurndjul is a Kuninjku elder and artist. He lives and works in Milmilngkan and Maningrida in Central Arnhem Land. Since his first exhibition in 1982, he has become one of Australia’s most widely recognised artists. In 1989 he was included in the landmark exhibition Magiciens de la Terre at the Centre Pompidou and Grande Halle de la Villette in Paris, and his works have been included in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Sydney, New York, Paris and Japan.
Following the opening of this exhibition at the MCA in July 2018, it was presented at AGSA from 26 October 2018 until 28 January 2019 as part of TARNANTHI Festival of Contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art.
Touring nationally through 2019 and 2020.
Co-curators: Clothilde Bullen (Curator, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Collections & Exhibitions, MCA), Natasha Bullock (Senior Curator, MCA), Nici Cumpston (Artistic Director, TARNANTHI Festival of Contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art, AGSA) and Lisa Slade, Assistant Director, Artistic Programs, AGSA with the support of Keith Munro (Curator, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Programs, MCA) as Lead Cultural Advisor.