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Yalangbara: the remarkable Marika family

7 DECEMBER, 2010

The National Museum of Australia, in partnership with the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, presents Yalangbara: Art of the Djang'kawu a free exhibition at the National Museum in Canberra from 7 December to 14 August, 2011.

The exhibition tells the remarkable story of the Marika family of Arnhem Land, three generations of artists, cultural diplomats and custodians of one of Australia's most important spiritual sites.

Yalangbara, also known as Port Bradshaw, is one of the most significant areas in the Miwatj (Arnhem Land) region. It was here that the Djang'kawu Sisters and their Brother landed and began their world-transforming journey across north-east-central Arnhem Land. As part of their creative journey the Djang'kawu gave birth to all the clans of the Dhuwa moiety (one of two larger intermarrying groups in the regions) including the Rirratjingu, the traditional owners of Yalangbara.

Yalangbara: Art of the Djang'kawu opens at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra on Tuesday, 7 December. The exhibition is the first major survey of works by the Marika family. The family comprises the Rirratjingu clan, one of Australia's most famous dynasties of artists who celebrate Yalangbara in their art and ceremony.

"The story of the Djang'kawu has been the subject of some of Australia's most important art. The exhibition, which has been developed in conjunction with members of the Marika family, offers us an opportunity to understand more fully the deep and complex relationships between place and people. It is compelling are presented in all its human dimensions," said Andrew Sayers, AM, Director of the National Museum of Australia.

The exhibition profiles rare and significant works from public and private collections including the first paintings produced at Yirrkala in the 1930s, unique crayon drawings from the 1950s, monumental narrative bark paintings, with contemporary sculptures, bark paintings, fibre items and prints.

Yalangbara: Art of the Djang'kawu will be at the National Museum of Australia from 7 December, 2010 until 14 August, 2011, before travelling to several venues across Australia. Admission is free. For more information about the exhibition visit: http://www.nma.gov.au/exhibitions/yalangbara/


For interviews, images and more information please contact Dennis Grant on 02 6208 5351, 0409 916 481; Caroline Vero on 02 6208 5338, 0438 620 710 or media@nma.gov.au