Aboriginal artist Clara Wubugwubuk from Ramingining was born in c1921 and began to paint in the early 1980’s. She was taught to paint by her second father, Turkey Djipurru, one of the oldest members of the Ganalbingu group. She is married to the artist Tom Djumburpur.
Clara is one of a growing number of women artists from Central Arnhem Land who paint with increasing confidence and have a formal mastery of their artwork.
Her most commonly painted subjects include the edible tuber called Manyigani, fresh water fish from the Arafura Swamp, and the water python and file snake. Her work is characterised by her use of long sensuous lines which she has developed into an individual style of ‘rarrk’ or cross hatching, a technique of painting common to this region. Unlike most artists from Arnhem land she uses mainly red and yellow ochres in place of the more commonly used white and black tones.
Clara’s crossover from bark painting into the print medium has not diminished the fineness of her line and rarrk-cross hatching technique as she has continued to produce bold and unique works.
Her work is represented in the Kluge Collection in the University of Virginia in the United States. She has also exhibited in Ramingining group shows in Sydney, Melbourne and Alice Springs.
In 1997 Clara was one of a number of artists who participated in a series of workshops held in Ramingining, by printmaker Theo Tremblay, during which they produced an important series of prints, the Raminging Print Suite, based on the Wagilag Sisters creation story.
Subject & Themes
Manyigani, edible tuber yam, Uarang fresh water fish, Karritjarr, Water python, File Snake, garrki bream, Warrnyu flying fox.
Art Gallery and Museum, Kelvingrove, Glasgow.
Flinders University Art Museum, Adelaide.
Kluge – Ruhe Collection,Charlottesville, USA.
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.
The Holmes a Court Collection, Perth.
1984 Buyu-Ramingining Weaving, Crafts Council, NT.
1988 Sydney Biennale.
1989 Ramingining, Gamununggu Miyalk, women painters, Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs. 1990 Ramingining Art, Birukmarri Gallery, Fremantle.
1991 Aboriginal Women’s Exhibition, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney.
1994 Power of the Land, Masterpieces of Aboriginal Art, National Gallery of Victoria.
1994 The Eleventh National Aboriginal Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin.
1995 The Twelfth National Aboriginal Art Award, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin.
1995 Cross Fibre, 24 Hour Art, Darwin, Northern Territory.
1995 12th NATSI Art Award ,Museum & Art Galleries of NT, Darwin.
1995 Ramingining Group show, Roslyn Oxley Gallery Sydney Friends of the Earth Centre, Melbourne Araluen Centre, Alice Springs.
1999 16th NATSI Art Award, Museum & Art Galleries of NT, Darwin
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.
Caruana, W., 1993, Aboriginal Art, Thames and Hudson, London. (C)
1991, Aboriginal Women’s Exhibition, exhib. cat., Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney. 1995, Cross Fibre, 24 Hour Art, exhib. cat., Darwin, Northern Territory.