David MALANGI DAYMIRRINGU | Yathalamarra Story

Australia 1927 – 1999
Yathalamarra Story
ABART-1118 Horizontal image with vertical parallel bands with motifs including waterlily bulbs, leaves, diver ducks. 1989
Bark Painting
natural pigments on eucalyptus bark
84.0 (h) x 146.0 (w) cm
Acquired 1990 with Mobil Oil Funds. Mobil Yathalamarra collection Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory Collection, Darwin
© David Malangi. Licensed by VISCOPY, Australia

The creation story for Yathalamarra involves the Ancestral waterlily women Biyay’ngu and Bundul. They created part of the waterhole, with their digging sticks while harvesting roots of the waterlily, gindjimirri. This figurative representation of the women is unusual. It was more common for Malangi to express the Ancestral presence through their plant or animal representation.

The edible waterlily is sacred to the Balmbi, especially the waterlily’s heart- shaped leaf. Biyay'ngu and Bundul reside in Yathalamarra. They had breasts on their backs as well as their chests, depicted in Malangi’s paintings as conical shapes.

Yes that’s two women, Balmbi women … Biyay’ngu and Bundul belong to this place Gutitjbimirri … Still there those two in the water with digging sticks, digging for waterlily roots, gindjimirri. They’re camping inside the water, sleeping underwater.Malangi, 1989[1]

[1] David Malangi from an interview with Margie West at Ramingining and Yathalamarra, September 20–21, 1989.

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Excerpt from Margie West, ‘Yathalamara — land of the waterlily’ in the exhibition catalogue No ordinary place: the art of David Malangi, Canberra: National Gallery of Australia, 2004, p. 42–50. 

The publication, which includes articles by the exhibition curator Susan Jenkins, Nigel Lendon and Djon Mundine, is available from the Gallery Shop for $34.95 (RRP $49.95) or online at ngashop.com.au.

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