Andrew Margalulu

Artist Story
Aboriginal artist Andrew Margululu’s work predominantly embraces the journeys of the Wagilag Sisters’ story, an important Aboriginal creation myth, and, in turn, the spirits who hunt honey and the country
they established along the way.

In 1989 Marrgululu was the first artist from Ramingining to produce a large bark for the Kluge Ruhe Collection, an important collection of Aboriginal Art commissioned by the University of Virginia in the United States. By producing the first major painting of a exceptional standard, Marrgalulu was instrumental in setting a high precedent for the other artists involved in this prestigious project.

Djon Mundine, a respected curator and author on indigenous Australian art describes the Australian landscape as being “full of signs”, a comment which also applies to Margululu’s artwork perfectly.

Marrgalulu has not only mastered the traditional medium of bark painting, but, in collaboration with printmaker Theo Tremblay, produces stunning contemporary prints.

Andrew Marrgalulu was one of the key artists to participate in the first print workshops at Milingimbi, held in 1996, where he modified his traditional designs to suite this new medium, successfully refining and exploring new possibilities. He responded particularly well to lithography. The shift from painting to making fine art prints proved less of an issue for him than his desire to maintain his cultural traditions through his artwork.

In 1997 Marrgalulu was one of the artists who participated in a series of workshops held in Ramingining, by Theo Tremblay, during which they produced an important series of prints called ‘The Ramingining Print Suite’. This suite was based on the Wagilag Sisters’ creation story and represented a unique collaboration by celebrated Aboriginal artists. Margululu was also commissioned to produce a painting for the Federal Airports Corporation which is on permanent display at Darwin airport.
Subject & Themes
Subjects are Yarrpany (Dhuwa moiety honey). catfish, bream fish, Mewal honey spirit, sea snake, water goanna.
Australian Museum, Sydney.
Kluge Ruhe Collection, Charlottesville, USA .
Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin.
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.
Tropenmuseum, Kindermuseum, Amsterdam.
Group Exhibitions
1983 Australian Perspecta, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney.
1984 Aboriginal Art, an Exhibition Presented by the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, Canberra.
1987 Bark Paintings from Ramingining, Birukmarri Gallery, Perth, WA.
1989 Aboriginal Art: The Continuing Tradition, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.
1990 Ramingining Art, Birukmarri Gallery, Fremantle.
1992 Art of the Spirit, Gold Coast City Art Gallery, Surfers Paradise, Queensland.
1994 The Eleventh National Aboriginal Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin.
Isaacs, J., 1984, Australia’s Living Heritage, Arts of the Dreaming, Lansdowne Press, Sydney.(C)
NT News, 27/12/1993, p. 6.
1983, Australian Perspecta 1983, A Biennial Survey of Contemporary Australian Art, exhib. cat., Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney.
Art from the Land: dialogues with the Kluge-Ruhe Collection of Australian Aboriginal Art ed. by Howard Morphy and Margo Smith, University of Virginia 1999.

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