Artist | WUKUN WANAMBI

Artist | WUKUN WANAMBI


Australian Indigenous (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) artwork by WUKUN WANAMBI of Buku-Larrnggay Mulka (Yirrkala). The title is Trial Bay. [4755W] (Earth Pigments on Hollow Log - Larrakitj)

WUKUN WANAMBI

Trial Bay

Australian Indigenous (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) artwork by WUKUN WANAMBI of Buku-Larrnggay Mulka (Yirrkala). The title is Trial Bay. [4826D] (Earth Pigments on Hollow Log - Larrakitj)

WUKUN WANAMBI

Trial Bay

Australian Indigenous (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) artwork by WUKUN WANAMBI of Buku-Larrnggay Mulka (Yirrkala). The title is Bamurrungu. [4753P] (Natural Earth Pigments on Board)

WUKUN WANAMBI

Bamurrungu

Wukun Wanambi is the eldest son of Mithili Wanambi, clan leader and renowned painted who passed away in 1981. Wukun’s father passed away before Wukun was able to learn from him to any great degree. Wukun began painting in 1997 as a result of the Saltwater project in which he participated. His arm of the Marrakulu clan is responsible for saltwater imagery which had not been painted intensively since his father’s death in 1981. His caretakers, or Djunggayi, principally the late Yanggarriny Wunungmurra (1932-2003), transferred their knowledge of these designs to Wukun so that the title to saltwater could be asserted. Some of these designs were outside even his father’s public painting repertoire. His first painting was a depiction of Bamurrunu, a sacred, white-domed rock in the middle of Trial Bay. It was the first time the motif had been painted since his father's death.

Wukun’s sisters Boliny and Ralwurrandji were active artists for a long time before this but not painting oceanic water of Marrakulu. Ralwurrandji was an employee at Buku-Larrnggay through the 1980’s. Wukun sought education through Dhupuma College and Nhulunbuy High School and mainstream employment as a Sport and Rec Officer, Probation and Parole Officer and at the local mine. He has five children with his wife Warraynga who is also an artist and is now a grandfather. It was not until 2007 that their younger brother Yalanba began to paint.

Wukun’s first bark for the Saltwater project won the 1998 NATSIAA Best Bark award. Wukun has gone on to establish a high profile career.

In 2003 NATSIAA awards, a sculptured larrakitj by Wukun was Highly Commended in 3D category. Since then he has been included in many prestigious collections. He had his first solo show at Raft Artspace in Darwin in 2004 followed by solo shows at Niagara Galleries, Melbourne in 2005 and 2008.

Wukun has been involved heavily in all the major communal projects of this decade including the Sydney Opera House commission, the opening of the National Museum of Australia, the Wukidi ceremony in the Darwin Supreme Court and the films: Lonely Boy Richard, The Pilot’s Funeral and Dhakiyarr versus The King. Wukun is an active community member in recreation and health projects and supports a large family.

In 2008, he was commissioned to provide a design for installation on a seven-storey glass façade in the Darwin Waterfront Development.

In 2007, he became Director of Buku-Larrnggay’s media centre, The Mulka Project. In this role he facilitates media projects such as the Nhama DVD and mentors young Yolngu in accessing training and employment in the media centre. In the same year, he was commissioned to provide a design for installation on a seven-story glass facade in the Darwin waterfront Development.

In 2013 he was honoured with an installation show at the Art Gallery of Western Australia and then again in 2015 with an installation at the British Museum in London and the National Museum of Australia.



Wukun Wanambi is the eldest son of Mithili Wanambi, clan leader and renowned painted who passed away in 1981. Wukun’s father passed away before Wukun was able to learn from him to any great degree. Wukun began painting in 1997 as a result of the Saltwater project in which he participated. His arm of the Marrakulu clan is responsible for saltwater imagery which had not been painted intensively since his father’s death in 1981. His caretakers, or Djunggayi, principally the late Yanggarriny Wunungmurra (1932-2003), transferred their knowledge of these designs to Wukun so that the title to saltwater could be asserted. Some of these designs were outside even his father’s public painting repertoire. His first painting was a depiction of Bamurrunu, a sacred, white-domed rock in the middle of Trial Bay. It was the first time the motif had been painted since his father's death.

Wukun’s sisters Boliny and Ralwurrandji were active artists for a long time before this but not painting oceanic water of Marrakulu. Ralwurrandji was an employee at Buku-Larrnggay through the 1980’s. Wukun sought education through Dhupuma College and Nhulunbuy High School and mainstream employment as a Sport and Rec Officer, Probation and Parole Officer and at the local mine. He has five children with his wife Warraynga who is also an artist and is now a grandfather. It was not until 2007 that their younger brother Yalanba began to paint.

Wukun’s first bark for the Saltwater project won the 1998 NATSIAA Best Bark award. Wukun has gone on to establish a high profile career.

In 2003 NATSIAA awards, a sculptured larrakitj by Wukun was Highly Commended in 3D category. Since then he has been included in many prestigious collections. He had his first solo show at Raft Artspace in Darwin in 2004 followed by solo shows at Niagara Galleries, Melbourne in 2005 and 2008.

Wukun has been involved heavily in all the major communal projects of this decade including the Sydney Opera House commission, the opening of the National Museum of Australia, the Wukidi ceremony in the Darwin Supreme Court and the films: Lonely Boy Richard, The Pilot’s Funeral and Dhakiyarr versus The King. Wukun is an active community member in recreation and health projects and supports a large family.

In 2008, he was commissioned to provide a design for installation on a seven-storey glass façade in the Darwin Waterfront Development.

In 2007, he became Director of Buku-Larrnggay’s media centre, The Mulka Project. In this role he facilitates media projects such as the Nhama DVD and mentors young Yolngu in accessing training and employment in the media centre. In the same year, he was commissioned to provide a design for installation on a seven-story glass facade in the Darwin waterfront Development.

In 2013 he was honoured with an installation show at the Art Gallery of Western Australia and then again in 2015 with an installation at the British Museum in London and the National Museum of Australia.



Exhibitions that WUKUN WANAMBI has exhibited at

Australian Sculptural Extravaganza

A Collection of Contemporary Australian Sculptures


Trial Bay: Gurka’wuy

A Collection of Fine Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Barks an…