Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery

Yirrkala Drawings: Works on Paper, Barks, Sculptures

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Gallery opening Hours

Tuesday - Saturday 11am - 5pm.


Download the media release and image suite for Yirrkala Drawings.

Image detail of artwork Munggurrawuy Yunupingu

Curated by Fiona Gavino, Yirrkala Drawings presents an exhibition of 1940s and beyond Yolngu stories told through crayon drawings on brown paper, bark paintings, and sculptures from the Berndt Museum Collection.

Presented by the Berndt Museum and Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery as a part of the Perth International Arts Festival, this exhibition is the first major presentation of these works in Western Australia and has been developed through careful communication with the descendants of the artists and the Yirrkala Community’s Art Centre, Buku-Larmggay Mulka.

Featured artwork: Munggurrawuy Yunupingu, Port of Macassar, 1947, crayon on brown paper, 114 x 74cm. Berndt Museum, The University of Western Australia. © Estate of the artist. Acc. No. 6970.

Exhibition period

7 February – 11 April 2015

A selection of works continue on show until 20 June 2015.

Exhibition details

Imagine a 1940s Yolngu Community in north-east Arnhem Land. Imagine people’s daily lives, traditional lands, artworks, and cultural histories; imagine interactions with Macassans before European colonisation.

This exhibition privileges audiences by taking them beyond their imagination into a Yolngu worldview and landscape. It features 100 stunning crayon drawings and bark paintings by Yolngu artists who visually, creatively and memorably tell past, continuing and present stories through the medium of art.

A Perth International Arts Festival event supported by Visual Arts Program Partner Wesfarmers Arts.

The Yirrkala Drawings exhibition will continue in the Janet Holmes à Court Gallery space through to 20 June.

Fiona Gavino

FIONA GAVINO has been involved professionally with Indigenous and non-Indigenous arts practices for many years. As both artist and curator, Gavino spent 12 years in the Northern Territory as a practicing artist. She is nationally recognised as a fibre artist and it is through this medium that her work with Yolngu began.

Gavino comments that the meanings embedded in her practice have been influenced by her NT experiences: ‘The cohesive context in which Indigenous people discuss philosophically the world around them creates a dynamic space in which to connect’. Her fibre art is featured in Hot Springs; the Northern Territory & Contemporary Australian Artists (Macmillan Art Publishing).

Since relocating to Western Australia in 2007, Gavino has worked at the Berndt Museum as Relocation Manager and currently with Art On The Move as the Professional Development Officer.  She was also the recipient of a 2014 Asialink Residency to the Philippines from Melbourne University.



Students from kindergarten to Year 12 are invited to experience this remarkable exhibition of crayon drawings on paper, barks and sculptures from Yirrkala. Download the Education Resource kit.


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Last updated:
Wednesday, 5 August, 2015 10:54 AM