Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be aware that the following pages may contain images or names of people who have since passed away.


Nyapanyapa Yunupiŋu

Collagraph and screenprint on paper

100cm x 64cm



“Our father Munggurrawuy painted the story of Djulpan. This  story  is   about  seven  sisters  who  went out  in  their  canoe  called   Djulpan. During  certain  seasons  they  used  to  go  hunting  for  food  and  always  come  back with  different  types  of  food.  As  you  can  see   they  would  come  back with  turtle,  fish  ,freshwater snakes  and  also  bush  foods like  yams  and  berries. They  can  now  be  seen  in  the  sky  of  a  night , seven  stars  that  come  out  together  like  they  are  shown  on  the  painting.

The  stars come  in  season  when the  food  and  berries  come  out,  the  stars  will  travel  through  the  sky  during  that month  until  the  season  is  over  and  they  don’t  come  out  until  the  next   season.  They are the constellation called Plaiedes and they are being chased by three brothers (Orion). They sail over the Northern horizon and when they get home they light their fires. “

Yolngu see a certain cloud shape that lets them know that it is alright to set the seasonal cleansing fires. These sisters (Plaiedes) hold the authority to light fires in their world first. Any early fires cause them to cry in unseasonal torrential downpours which put those unauthorised fires out. Historically, major fires/dust storms/volcanic smoke from Irian Jaya/Indonesia have probably signalled to Yolngu that there is land to the North where the Djulpan sisters have their home.

In this collagraph Nyapanyapa’s initial marks were made with a scaled up version of a marwat- a fine brush made from straight hair bound to a wooden stick with cotton thread. In this case Print Space worker Bitharr Maymuru fashioned a large brush and substituted torn strips of rag. After this three dimensional background or ‘collage’ was used to print the base design a screenprint was created using an actual marwat and overprinted.

Ref: BUKU3938-19-14/20



Buku-Larrnggay Mulka
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Buku-Larrnggay Mulka

Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka Centre is the Indigenous community controlled art centre of Northeast Arnhem Land. Located in Yirrkala, a small Aboriginal community on the northeastern tip of the Top End of the Northern Territory, approximately 700km east of Darwin. Our primarily Yolŋu (Aboriginal) staff of around twenty services Yirrkala and the approximately twenty-five homeland centres in the radius of 200km.

Artists from Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka have won First Prize in the last two National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award and featured in many cutting edge contemporary fine art exhibitions and Biennale both in Australia and overseas. Recent solo retrospectives and high profile multi media installations confirm the Centre’s reputation as an innovative and important artist collective. But the history of the art from this region goes back a long way.

In the 1960’s, Narritjin Maymuru set up his own beachfront gallery from which he sold art that now graces many major museums and private collections. He is counted among the art centre’s main inspirations and founders, and his picture hangs in the museum. His vision of Yolŋu-owned business to sell Yolŋu art that started with a shelter on a beach has now grown into a thriving business that exhibits and sells globally.

Buku-Larrŋgay –  “the feeling on your face as it is struck by the first rays of the sun (i.e. facing East)

Mulka – “a sacred but public ceremony.”

In 1976, the Yolŋu artists established ‘Buku-Larrŋgay Arts’ in the old Mission health centre as an act of self-determination coinciding with the withdrawal of the Methodist Overseas Mission and the Land Rights and Homeland movements.

In 1988, a new museum was built with a Bicentennary grant and this houses a collection of works put together in the 1970s illustrating clan law and also the Message Sticks from 1935 and the Yirrkala Church Panels from 1963.

In 1996, a screen print workshop and extra gallery spaces was added to the space to provide a range of different mediums to explore. In 2007, The Mulka Project was added which houses and displays a collection of tens of thousands of historical images and films as well as creating new digital product.

Still on the same site but in a greatly expanded premises Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka Centre now consists of two divisions; the Yirrkala Art Centre which represents Yolŋu artists exhibiting and selling contemporary art and The Mulka Project which acts as a digital production studio and archiving centre incorporating the museum.

The Centre recently opened an 8 unit accommodation and convention complex.

If you would like to visit our website it is at www.yirrkala.com

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All purchases include shipping within Australia. We will freight all artworks promptly after purchase from Buku Larrnggay Mulka in Yirrkala to your address. For international shipping, please contact us directly at or Dave Wickens at 0427 447 920 to confirm a quote and delivery details.  

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