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Nawurapu Wununjmurra

Mokoy Spirits

natural earth pigment on Hibiscus wood
190.0 x 170.0 cm
Price Realised: $9,760.00

MP #394


commissioned by Balang Arts, Katherine NT
Private Collection, NT

Nawurapu Wunuŋmurra was trained in the school of his father the late Yaŋgarriny Wunuŋmurra, a senior Yirritja moiety elder, and winner of the 1997 Telstra National Aboriginal and Islander Art Award.  As the eldest son Nawurapu's spiritual authority increased with age and he became regarded as a senior elder following his father's death. His 2006 NATSIA entry was purchased by the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory. In 2008, a set of his Mokuy spirits were purchased by the Queensland Art Gallery and he was included in the major contemporary survey show Optimism at the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art. He exhibited at the third Moscow Biennale during the following year.

In 2010, Nawurapu won the inaugural Telstra New Media prize with a set of film illuminated Mokuy carvings at the 27th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards. His bronzes are now installed in the heart of Darwin’s Waterfront by the Northern Territory Government. Nawurapu travelled to Makassar in 2015 and a batik from one of his paintings was presented to the Textile Museum in Jakarta. Thirty-six of his sculptures were acquired by the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney.

Proud, intelligent but always humble, Nawurapu died in North East Arnhem Land in 2018.