Change, Change, Change in Lena Yarinkura’s Work

Installation view of Lena Yarinkura’s “Yawkyawk” in Marking the Infinite.

“In the beginning, I used to make baskets, and string bags, and mats. Then I had another idea, a new idea, and I started different themes: camp dogs, and yawkyawk, made out of pandanus and some stringybark. Just doing different things. Before, people didn’t have any new ideas—they just made baskets and mats—but not this thing. So I teach them, and they got my idea. I always think to make different things— it’s really hard. But I like to keep changing, always new. Not same one. Just make different things because I have to change, change, change. I can’t just make one. No! Because I’ve got a lot of Dreamings.”–Lena Yarinkura

This work is on view in Marking the Infinite: Contemporary Women Artists from Aboriginal Australia through September 9, 2018.

Meet the Marking the Infinite Artists: Gulumbu Yunupingu

In this series, we introduce the nine artists behind Marking the Infinite: Contemporary Women Artists from Aboriginal Australia, on view at The Phillips Collection June 2–September 9, 2018.

Installation view of works by Gulumbu Yunupingu in Marking the Infinite. Photo: Amy Wike

Born c. 1943, Gunyangara, Northern Territory
Died 2012, Nhulunbuy, Northern Territory

Gulumbu Yunupingu is one of Australia’s most acclaimed contemporary bark painters. In her community she is equally regarded for her healing powers and traditional remedies. Born into an important Yolngu family, her father was artist Mungurrawuy Yunupingu, leader of the Gumatj clan. An accomplished translator, communicator, and traditional healer, she began her artistic career in the late 1990s. Within a few years her work was represented at World Expo in Hanover, Germany, and received first prize at the prestigious National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards. In 2006, she was one of eight artists whose work was incorporated into the design for the new Musée du quai Branly in Paris.

Carlene West Tells the Story of Two Women

Carlene West, Tjitjitji, 2015. Synthetic polymer paint on canvas

“These paintings represent my country of Tjitjiti, a large salt lake. It is the site of the creation story of Two Women. This story involves Two Women walking across the big salt lake with a child when they are called by a stranger, a Quoll Man, to hand over the child. The two ladies make a run for it but the Quoll Man threw a spear and impaled the two women together and then killed the child. This is a sad story. Those two women can still be seen today standing at Tjitjiti.” –Carlene West

This work is on view in Marking the Infinite: Contemporary Women Artists from Aboriginal Australia through September 9, 2018.