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John Mawurndjul

Mardayin from Kuruldul - 2004

natural earth pigments with PVC fixative on stringy bark
150 x 50 cm
Price Realised: $19,500.00

MP #591


Maningrida Art Centre, NT Cat No. 1575-04
Private Collection, NSW

John Mawurndjul lives at Milmilngkan. Here, the power of Ngalyod, the Rainbow Serpent, lies underneath the water of a billabong. This painting, the Mardayin Design, displays the complex composition of Mawurndjul's intricate rarrk skills, conveying the power of the place.

The Mardayin is a major male ceremony of a secret and sacred nature. Much of the meaning of the iconography in the painting is not in the domain of public knowledge and so it cannot be explained in detail here.

The site referred to is Kakodbebuldi, an outstation on the Dangkorlo clan estate in the Mann River region. It is located on a large billabong covered in waterlillies. This place is about 50km south of Maningrida in Central North Arnhem Land.

Born at Mumeka, an important site for the Kurulk clan located near the Mann River in Central Arnhem Land, John Mawurndjul was taught to paint by his elder brother Jimmy Njiminjuma and his uncle Peter Marralwanga. Today he often paints alongside his wife Kay Lindjuwanga, while they guide the development of their children and his niece Irenie Ngalinba, Jimmy Njiminjuma's daughter.