BY AMELIA GROOM
Over the last decade, Annandale Galleries has continued to increase its focus on contemporary Aboriginal art within its broad program of local and international artists, and today it’s one of the best spaces in Sydney to see new indigenous works. The current exhibition, Wanyubi Marika and Young Guns II, showcases a fantastic collection of unique and beautiful pieces from the Yolngu culture of Arnhem Land.
A large part of the show is made up of Wanyubi Marika’s barks and ceremonial poles. Wanyubi is from the Marika family, an Aboriginal dynasty that has included many important figures. His father was the lead plaintiff in the landmark Grove Land Rights case; his mother a pioneering and distinguished health worker and ordained Uniting Church minister; and his uncle a ceremonial leader and acclaimed artist. The rest of the exhibition comes from six young artists who work under elders such as Wanyubi, and their work shows admirable skill and innovation.
Besides being an artist, Wanyubi is also a senior ranger, which he says (in the exhibition catalogue) is much the same thing: ‘protecting the country through the gamunungu [ochre painted sacred designs] is the same thing as protecting the land physically as a ranger. There is no difference.’
Wanyubi Marika and Young Guns II
Until May 10
110 Trafalgar St, Annandale
95521689 or www.annandalegalleries.com.au