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National Museum of Australia

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White pigment used by Mulkun Wirrpanda - Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Centre

2018.0004.0002

White pigment used by Mulkun Wirrpanda - Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Centre

Object information

Physical description

A lump of white clay. It has an irregular shape with most sides rough and one smooth section. There is some reddy brown/orange colouring on some of the rough surfaces.

Statement of significance

The collection comprises 13 items of artist's equipment used by Mulkun Wirrpanda in the production of a large body of works donated to the Museum under the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program by Wayne and Vicki McGeoch. It includes samples of ochres, paint brushes, grinding stone, palette and sandpaper used to smooth the handles of human hair brushes Wirrpanda made for painting the fine strokes of the rarrk in her paintings.

The collection is important in that it gives an insight into the production of the Wirrpanda's artworks, particularly the use of the human hair brush used in painting the raark, as these parts of her paintings were inspired by each plant in 'revealing its character' to her. The works provide a unique visual record of Yolngu knowledge of plants with food-bearing or medicinal properties. Wirrpanda depicts aspects of the plants' life cycle across numerous works, from the gestational period through to fruiting and harvesting and the interconnections between the food source and the extensive freshwater flood plains and rivers, beaches, sandhills, salt flats and estuaries in her Yolngu country.

Object information

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