This volume chronicles the rise of a globally significant art movement, as told from the perspective of the Yolngu people of northeastern Australia. It presents more than 90 iconic paintings on eucalyptus bark, many of which have never been seen outside of Australia.
For millennia, Yolngu people around Yirrkala in northern Australia have painted their sacred clan designs on their bodies and ceremonial objects. These designs—called miny’tji—are not merely decorative: they are the sacred patterns of the ancestral land itself. Yolngu people describe them as madayin: a term that encompasses both the sacred and the beautiful. With the arrival of Europeans in the 20th century, Yolngu people turned to the medium of painting on eucalyptus bark with ochres. The result was an outpouring of creativity that continues to this day as artists find new and innovative ways to transform their ancient clan designs into compelling contemporary statements that is chronicled in this singular publication.
Authors include: Andrew Blake, David Burrumarra MBE, Steve Fox, Gunybi Ganambarr, Manydjarri Ganambarr, Yinimala Gumana, Jason Guwanbal Gurruwiwi, Djambawa Marawili AM, Nonggirrnga Marawili, Dhuwarrwarr Marika, Wanyubi Marika, Baluka Maymuru, Paul Wutjin Maymuru, Naminapu Maymuru-White, Frances Morphy, Howard Morphy, Barayuwa Mununggurr, Marrnyula Mununggurr, Rerrkirrwanga Mununggurr, Wäka Mununggurr, Buwathay Munyarryun, Eleanore Neumann, Will Stubbs, Dhukumul Wanambi, Dhukal Wirrpanda, Liyawaday Wirrpanda, Dela Yunupingu, Djerrkngu Yunupingu and Yälpi Yunupingu