Noŋgirrŋa Marawili

Baratjala

By Biennale of Sydney

22nd Biennale of Sydney: NIRIN

Baratjala (2019) by Noŋgirrŋa MarawiliBiennale of Sydney

About the artist

Noŋgirrŋa Marawili
Born on the beach at Darrpirra, North of Cape Shield, Australia on the ocean side
As a child lived wakir’ (camping / moving around) at Maḏarrpa clan-related sites between Blue Mud Bay and Groote Eyelandt, Australia
Lives and Works at Yirrkala and Wandawuy, Australia


NIRIN at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia (2020)Biennale of Sydney

Baratjala

Earth pigments and recycled print toner on Stringybark

Baratjala [Pink Lightning] Installation ImageBiennale of Sydney

Lightning illuminating ocean sea spray as it smashes against large rocks, phenomena linked to Country and waters of cyclones, huge tides and ripping currents all find a place in Noŋgirrŋa Marawili’s imagery.

The artist lived nomadically as part of a clan group with a flotilla of canoes between Groote Eyelandt and the mainland. 

Baratjala (2019) by Noŋgirrŋa MarawiliBiennale of Sydney

Her father’s name was Mundukul (Lightning Snake) - also the name of the serpent, known as Burrut’tji (Water Python) who lives deep beneath the sea. 

The pink-toned works reflect a recent innovation – after discovering a discarded magenta print toner on her Country, Marawili began using ink from disused cartridges, reflecting Yolŋu philosophy that suggests, ‘if you paint the land you should use the land’.

Baratjala (2019) by Noŋgirrŋa MarawiliBiennale of Sydney

Her work, while not embodying sacred designs, reflects the philosophies of her Maḏarrpa clan and bears the traces of the places she moves through.

Baratjala Installation ImageBiennale of Sydney

"I paint water designs. The water. As it crashes on to the rocks at high tide. Sending the spray into the sky. Rocks which stand strong. And the waves which run and crash upon the rocks. The sea spray. This is the painting I do. You may spy on me and think that I am painting sacred things. This would be a lie." 

- Noŋgirrŋa Marawili





Larrakitj Larrakitj (2019) by Noŋgirrŋa MarawiliBiennale of Sydney

In 22nd Biennale of Sydney, Marawili also presents three painted larrakitj – memorial poles made from hollow Stringybark - at the Campbelltown Arts Centre.

The poles show Marawili’s characteristically dynamic mode of painting that brings forth the interconnected energies of places, layering the tangible and intangible forces, phenomena and atmospheres of environments constantly transforming.

Navigate through the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia and explore Marawili's installation. You might also like to watch the NIRIN Social Tour with Sebastian Henry-Jones, Curatorial Assistant for the 22nd Biennale of Sydney.

Navigate around the painted Larrakitj poles at the Campbelltown Arts Centre and explore Marawili's art.

Credits: Story

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia
Baratjala, 2019, earth pigments and recycled print toner on Stringybark Collection of Susan Colless, Sydney 
Baratjala, 2019, earth pigments on Stringybark Arnaud Serval Collection, Switzerland 
Baratjala (Pink Lightning), 2019, earth pigments and recycled print toner on Stringybark Private Collection, Melbourne 
Baratjala, 2019, earth pigments and recycled print toner on Stringybark Courtesy the artist and Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka Centre, Yirrkala 
Baratjala, 2019, earth pigments and recycled print toner on Stringybark Private collection, Melbourne Baratjala, 2019, earth pigments and recycled print toner on Stringybark Carey Lyon and Jo Crosby Collection 
Baratjala (Pink Lightning), 2019, earth pigments on Stringybark Courtesy the artist; Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka Centre, Yirrkala; and Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne 
Baratjala, 2019, earth pigments and recycled print toner on Stringybark Private collection, Sydney Baratjala, 2019, earth pigments and recycled print toner on Stringybark Private collection 
Baratjala, 2019, earth pigments and recycled print toner on Stringybark Courtesy the artist and Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka Centre, Yirrkala 
Commissioned by the Biennale of Sydney

Campbelltown Art Centre

Larrakitj, 2019, earth pigments and recycled print toner on Stringybark 
Larrakitj, 2019, earth pigments and recycled print toner on Stringybark 
Larrakitj, 2019, earth pigments and recycled print toner on Stringybark 
Presented at the 22nd Biennale of Sydney with generous assistance from Sue Acret and James Roth Kerry Stokes Collection, Perth

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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