Born c. 1945, Miwatj, Northern Territory
Lives and works in Yirrkala, Northern Territory
Nyapanyapa Yunupingu has become one of Australia’s most acclaimed contemporary artists. Hailing from a powerful Yolngu family, Nyapanyapa is the daughter of statesman and artist Mungurrawuy Yunupingu and is the younger sister of artist Gulumbu Yunupingu. Through the Yirrkala Printspace—the only full-time, Indigenousstaffed fine art print studio in the country—Yunupingu has become an acclaimed printmaker. Her bark paintings, larrakitj poles, and multimedia works are held in every major public collection in Australia. In 2016 she was featured in the Sydney Biennale, and the Bangarra Dance Theatre performed a work inspired by her life.
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
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.