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Group show: One Clan Three Hands (over)

8 February 2011 until 5 March 2011
  One Clan Three Hands
One Clan installation view
  Niagara Galleries

Niagara Galleries
245 Punt Road
3121 Richmond, VIC
Australia (city map)

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tel +61 (0)3 - 9429 3666

Niagara Galleries, in association with Buku-Larngguy Mulka invite you to attend the opening of One Clan Three Hands, featuring the work of three artists from the Marrakula clan.

A fully illustrated catalogue is available, including foreword by Will Stubbs, and catalogue essay by Howard Morphy. $11.00 plus postage and handling.


The Accidental Gallerist

This exhibition is based on an accident. Or is it?

The air is different in North East Arnhem land.

It is divided in half. Like everything else. Every person you know is either Dhuwa or Yirritja. Every place you go is one or the other. Every object you see is one of these - under a Dhuwa sun and an Yirritja moon.

Its as mind bending as French noun genders. You never look at the Sun the same way once you know the French think it male and the Moon female. The winds here change character depending on their direction. Lunggurrma, the North wind from Sulawesi, is Yirritja. The south easterlies from Thredbo are Dhuwa.

And so the air is literally divided, but I meant more that the atmosphere is different and enriched by these unseen distinctions. This binary moiety division is only the start of it. Within this there are hidden identities of clan, malk and foundation. These are too hard to explain quickly.

Since 2000, Bill Nuttall has chosen three artists from North East Arnhem based on his personal aesthetic radar. Wolpa Wanambi who soloed in 2003, Wukun Wanambi in 2005 and 2008, and Garawan Wanambi who had his show with Bill in 2009.

Apparently by accident his antennae seems drawn only to artists from just one of the 20 or so clans of East Arnhem. There is nothing common to their work but the invisible spiritual identity that underpins it. They live in different places, paint different estates and designs and with different approaches.

From a Yolngu perspective it is not mysterious. The designs emanate naturally from the land. The artist just a conduit for a deeper power. Like radiation the spiritual power discharged by these paintings has its own wavelength.

Bill's personal geiger is set in the Marrakulu range.

And so just as the different estates painted by each artist are joined by common songlines and the artists are united in a common clan identity now their works hang together in one gallery. Fate demands it. A happy accident of taste.

Or something else?

Will Stubbs
Art Co-ordinator
Buku-Larrnggay Mulka

The catalogue essay by Howard Morphy can be read, in full, on our website.

Copies of the catalogue are available for $11.00 plus postage and handling. Please contact the gallery to arrange delivery.

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