Collected in the Yirrkala region, North East Arnhem Land, NT
Private Collection, NSW
Galpu clan elder and ceremonial leader Mithinari was born at Ngaypinyu, near Blue Mud Bay. He learned to paint as a young man with a group of Dhuwa-moiety artists at Beach Camp in Yirrkala. They were taught by the master bark painters Mawalan Marika and Wandjuk Marika.
Mithinari’s work was distinguished by skilful use of surface patterning and concentration on the Wawilag religious mythology, which starts when a pair of sisters begin their journey in the region of Mithinari’s country. The birds depicted in this work are djikay, lotus birds, and the background designs represent the Galpu clan.
Mithinari was one of the painters of the famous Yirrkala Church panels, alongside other renowned artists including Mathaman Marika and Mawalan Marika. The panels are now housed in the Buku-Larrnggay Museum. His work was collected by all major institutions and a number of seminal private collectors during the 1960s and 1970s.Share