John Mawurnd­jul at MCA

A ma­jor survey of work by one of Aus­tralia’s lead­ing con­tem­po­rary artists.

Where Sydney - - Contents - FREE EN­TRY Un­til 23 Septem­ber, Mu­seum of Con­tem­po­rary Art Aus­tralia, Ge­orge Street, The Rocks. john­mawurnd­

AN OUT­STAND­ING EX­HI­BI­TION of indige­nous art is now on dis­play at the Mu­seum of Con­tem­po­rary Art Aus­tralia (MCA). “John Mawurnd­jul: I am the old and the new” is the first ma­jor survey of works by one of Aus­tralia’s lead­ing con­tem­po­rary artists, mas­ter bark painter John Mawurnd­jul. He is cel­e­brated for his mas­tery of rarrk (cross-hatch­ing) and his de­pic­tion of djang (sa­cred sites), a tra­di­tion shared by gen­er­a­tions of Kun­in­jku artists. Bark paint­ings and sculp­tures drawn from pri­vate and pub­lic col­lec­tions across the world tell the sto­ries of Kun­in­jku cul­ture and the sig­nif­i­cant lo­ca­tions sur­round­ing the artist’s home in cen­tral north Arn­hem Land.

Born in 1952, Mawurnd­jul lives and works in Milmil­ngkan in western Arn­hem Land and Man­ingrida in cen­tral north Arn­hem Land. Since his first ex­hi­bi­tion in 1980, he has be­come one of Aus­tralia’s most widely recog­nised artists. In 1989 his work was in­cluded in the ground-break­ing ex­hi­bi­tion Magi­ciens de la Terre at the Cen­tre Georges Pom­pi­dou and Grande Halle de la Vil­lette in Paris, and his works have been in­cluded in nu­mer­ous solo and group ex­hi­bi­tions in Aus­tralia, Amer­ica, Ger­many and Ja­pan. In 2018 he re­ceived the highly pres­ti­gious Red Ochre Award at the Aus­tralia Coun­cil for the Arts, Na­tional Indige­nous Art Awards, for his out­stand­ing life­time achieve­ment in the arts.

The col­lec­tions of the MCA and Art Gallery of South Aus­tralia form the ge­n­e­sis of the ex­hi­bi­tion. Two barks— Nawar­ra­mul­mul (Shoot­ing Star Spirit) and Nga­lyod (Fe­male Rain­bow Ser­pent) (both 1988) were the first art­works ac­ces­sioned into the newly-in­cor­po­rated MCA Collection in 1989; and Na­man­jwarre,

Salt­wa­ter Croc­o­dile (also from 1988) is a corner­stone piece from the Art Gallery of South Aus­tralia Collection, rep­re­sent­ing a wa­ter­shed mo­ment in the evo­lu­tion of the artist’s aes­thetic.

This in­cred­i­ble ex­hi­bi­tion at the MCA is not to be missed!

“I AM THE OLD AND THE NEW” (From top) In­stal­la­tion view, “John Mawurnd­jul: I am the old and the new”, Mu­seum of Con­tem­po­rary Art Aus­tralia. John Mawurnd­jul: “River Whale Shark 1989”.

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