18 September – 11 October 2008

Nyapanyapa’s paintings—natural earth pigments on bark—are unique for paintings from the Yirrkala region in their energetic roughness and elemental wildness. They are openly playful even in the use of symmetries. They are unusual in that they depict actual events from the artist’s own life as opposed to the inherited stories of tradition. Scenes include the drama of when, in 1975, Nyapanyapa was mauled by a water buffalo, her subsequent trip to Darwin Hospital by plane as well as more routine happenings from everyday life and depictions of animals and landscapes.

Nyapanyapa Yunupingu (b. c. 1945) lives in remote North-East Arnhem Land. Once upon a time … is her first solo exhibition of large bark paintings. An exhibition of smaller barks was held at Nomad Art Productions in Darwin in June 2008. In August this year she attracted critical acclaim when she won the Wandjuk Marika 3D Memorial Award at the annual Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards. Once upon a time … is Nyapanyapa’s first exhibition at Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery.

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