Yirrkala Drawings

Front Cover
Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2013 - Art, Yolngu - 174 pages
In 1947 a group of senior Aboriginal leaders and bark painters in Yirrkala, north-east Arnhem Land, collaborated with anthropologists Ronald and Catherine Berndt to document the intricacies of their culture and history. The result was the Yirrkala drawings, a group of over 360 works in crayon on paper. Dynamic, vivid and unlike any other Indigenous Australian art in medium, style and colour, this is the first comprehensive publication of these magnificent drawings. Their imagery is informed by the long history of Yirrkala - from ancestral times, to the arrival of Macassan fishermen centuries before European contact, to the artists' interactions with government representatives like Donald Thomson who sought their assistance in World War II, anthropologists like the Berndts, and missionaries. Accompanied by insightful essays and interviews with the artists' descendants, this book reveals the enduring power of this land and its people.

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