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Rirratjiŋu clan, Dhuwa moiety

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Wandjuk Marika. Photo: Ian Dunlop

About 1930–1987

Wandjuk was one of the great Yolŋu ambassadors. The eldest son of Mawalan Marika, he was taught to paint as a teenager and became a prolific artist. Disillusioned after discovering an unauthorised reproduction of one of his designs on a tea towel in 1974, he ceased painting for eight years.

He became an advocate for Indigenous artists’ rights, a founding member of the Australia Council, and chair of the Aboriginal Arts Board from 1975 to 1980. In recognition of his services to the arts, Wandjuk was awarded an Order of the British Empire in 1979, and the sculpture prize at the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards is named in his honour.

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