12 August – 10 September 2022

The title of this show is ‘Healing/Dilthan Yolŋunha’

This captures both the role that her mother’s intensive traditional healing through bush saunas played in her recovery from a serious accident as well as the function which art creation has in her life to this very day.

It is the daily creation of art which maintains her physical, emotional, spiritual and mental health.

The motivation behind her incessant productivity is healing, not fame or fortune.

—Will Stubbs, Co-ordinator of Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka Centre, 2022

Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery is thrilled to present Healing/Dilthan Yolŋunha, Dhambit Munuŋgurr’s second solo exhibition with the gallery. Within a selection of bark paintings and larrakitj (hollow poles), Munuŋgurr’s distinct brushstroke and vivid palette of cobalt blues echo depictions of the sky and sea. Painting with Marwat (traditional Yolŋu hairbrush) using her non-preferred left hand, sea creatures and characters appear to float upon the surface, jostling against a vibrant background: the compelling juxtaposition of contemporary materials and traditional stories developing an unexpected signature style.

Munuŋgurr introduced non-traditional colours to her work when she started mixing ochre with acrylic paint in an effort to overcome the difficulty of grinding ochre by hand which became beyond her capability following a car accident. In doing so, she has defined her practice by the vibrancy of colour and powerful spontaneity of her mark making, to create strident, dazzling artworks.

Dhambit Munuŋgurr was born in 1968 into the Djapu clan at their homeland, Wandawuy, now an outstation about 150 kilometres south of Yirrkala in north-east Arnhem Land where she now lives and works. She comes from an extraordinarily rich artistic genealogy. Her grandfather, Muŋgurrawuy Yunupiŋu (c. 1904-1979) was an artist and contributor to the legendary 1963 Yirrkala Church Panels; and her father Mutitjpuy Mununggurr, and mother Gulumbu Yunupiŋu, were both celebrated Aboriginal artists, each having won first prizes at the Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander (NATSIA) Awards at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT).

Emulating the great success of her forefathers, Munuŋgurr herself was a finalist in the 2018 and 2022 NATSIA Awards, and in 2021 she was awarded the Bark Painting Award at the 38th NATSIA Awards for her work Bees at Gängän (2021). She received similar acclaim at the Art Gallery of New South Wales being named a finalist in the Wynne Prize in 2021 and 2022.

Her immersive installation of 15 bark paintings and nine larrakitj, Can We All Have a Happy Life, at the 2020 NGV Triennial received widespread critical and curatorial acclaim. In the subsequent year, she was included in Bark Ladies: Eleven Artists from Yirrkala at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV); an exhibition celebrating the NGV’s extraordinary collection of work by Yolŋu women artists from the Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka Centre. Other notable presentations of her work include Tarnanthi, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide (2020); Dhambit Munuŋgurr, Salon Project Space, Darwin (2019); Salon des Refuse 2017, Charles Darwin University Art Gallery, Darwin (2017); and Mother to Daughter: On Art and Caring for Homelands, The Cross Art Projects, Sydney (2015).

Healing/Dilthan Yolŋunha is Dhambit Munuŋgurr’s second exhibition with Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery.

View exhibition