Buyku2011 by Gunybi Ganambarr

Yolngu artist Gunybi Ganambarr’s innovative substitution of industrial laminate board for organic materials has transformed the centuries-old tradition of Arnhem Land bark painting, both materially and conceptually, to incorporate a crucial dialogue on the mining and construction industries and the erosion of Aboriginal land rights.

Fusing clan designs with his own visual vocabulary, Gunybi Ganambarr sets out to capture the distinctive dynamics of a living landscape. Serial notches gouged into the surface of the board create a vivid geometry that refers to the sacred waters around Gängan, the land of his mother’s people. Turbulent flow is implied by the central vortex of interlocking diamonds, which elicits the energy of elemental forces. These forces are an expression of ancestral power (miny’tji ) that can be revealed in a flash of light or in the tidal encounter of fresh and salt water.
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