Djambawa Marawili AM
Djambawa Marawili AM – Australian Indigenous Aboriginal Artist
Djambawa Marawili is an artist who has experienced mainstream success (as the winner of the 1996 Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award – Best Bark Painting Prize) and as an artist represented in most major Australian institutional collections and several important overseas public and private collections, but for whom the production of art is a small part of a much bigger picture.
Djambawa Marawili is first and foremost a leader, and his art is one of the tools he uses to lead. His principal roles are as a leader of the Madarrpa clan, a caretaker for the spiritual well-being of his own and other related clan’s and an activist and administrator in the interface between non-Aboriginal people and the Yolnu (Aboriginal) people of North East Arnhem Land.
As well as being the Chairman of ANKAAA’s Board of Directors (2000 – 2014), Djambawa Marawili AM (b.1953) has held numerous other positions, including Chairperson of Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Centre (1994 – 2000), Chairperson of Laynhapuy Homelands Committee (1995 – 1997), Board Member of the Australia Council, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Board (2004 – 2009) and Board Member of the Northern Land Council. In 2014 Djambawa was appointed to the Prime Minister’s Indigenous Advisory Council.
In 2015 Djambawa Marawili continued to chair ANKAAA whilst also serving as deputy Chairman of Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Centre and sitting on the board of Laynhapuy Homelands and the Northern Land Council. As ceremonial leader of the Madarrpa clan of North East Arnhem Land, Djambawa uses his art to communicate his wider socio-political aims, drawing on the strong foundations of Yolngu culture to educate, inspire and seek justice for his people.
Through various advocacy, administrative and educative roles, Djambawa acts as an interface between Yolngu and the wider non-Indigenous population of Australia. He was a participant in the production of the Barunga Statement (1988), which led to Bob Hawke’s promise of a treaty between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, the Royal Commission into Black Deaths in Custody (established in 1989) and the formation of ATSIC in 1990.
As he has consistently throughout his life, Djambawa uses painting to show the sacred designs that embody his right to speak as a part of the land, whether it be above ground or under the sea. He was instrumental in the initiation of the Saltwater: Yirrkala Bark Paintings of Sea Country exhibition, which toured nationally from 1999 – 2001. He co-ordinated the 2004 Sea Rights claim in the Federal Court which eventuated in the High Court’s determination that Yolngu did indeed own the land between high and low water mark (2008 Blue Mud Bay case).
Djambawa’s work is held in many important public and private collections including Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow, Scotland; Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth; JW Kluge Collection, Virginia, USA; National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; President of India Art Collection; National Maritime Museum, Sydney; Northern Territory Supreme Court, Darwin; Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; Holmes a Court Collection and Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane.
Date of Birth 1953
Clan Yithuwa Madarrpa
Languages Yolngu Matha, Dhuwala, Dhuwaya, Dbjambarrpuy, Kriol Gumatj, Anindilyakwa, English
Homeland Arnhem Land, Baniyala / Yilpara
- 1996 Best Bark Painting – 13th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards
- 2004-5 Australia Council Fellowship
- 2008 Major protagonist of the successful Blue Mud Bay case in the High Court
- 2009 Co-Judge of the 27th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award
- 2010 Membership (an AM) in the General division of the Order of Australia
- 2011 Highly Commended Telstra NATSIAA, MAGNT Darwin, NT
- Nga Art Bank Sydney Art Gallery and Museum
- Kelvingrove, Glasgow Scotland
- Art Gallery of Western Australia
- Australian Capital Equity the Kerry Stokes Collection
- JW Kluge Collection
- Virginia USA National Gallery of Australia
- Canberra. National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
- Queensland University of Technology Art Collection Crafts Museum
- New Delhi, India. A collaborative canvas 16’ x 4’ with artists Liawaday Marawili (wife) and Indian ‘tribal’ artists Jangarh Singh Shyam and Bhuri Bai President of India Art Collection, a collaborative work with JS Shyam and B Bai, presented to the President by the Australia India Council in New Dhelhi 1999
- Australian Capital Equity Art Collection, Perth, WA
- Saltwater – Yirrkala Bark Paintings of Sea Country
- National Maritime Museum, Darling Harbour Sydney
- NSW Sydney Opera House
- NSW Kerry Stokes Collection
- NT Supreme Court
- LeviKaplan Collection Art Gallery NSW British Open
- University Art Museum Milton Keynes England Holmes a Court Collection Woodside Energy Ltd.
- Collection Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Queensland
- 1984 Aboriginal Art, an Exhibition presented by the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, Canberra.1984, Baniyala Artworks, Collectors Gallery, Sydney
- 1984, Baniyala Artworks, Crafts Council Gallery, Sydney
- 1986 Painted objects from Arnhem Land, University Drill Hall Gallery (Pod), Canberra, ACT
- 1989 Aboriginal Art, The Continuing Tradition, National Gallery of Australia
- 1990 Keepers of the Secrets, Aboriginal Art From Arnhem Land, Art Gallery of WA, Perth, WA.
- 1994 11th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards Exhibition, Museum and art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin NT
- 1995 Miny’tji Buku-Larrnggay, Paintings from the East, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Vic.
- 1995 12th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin NT
- 1996 Miny’tji Dhawu, Savode Gallery Brisbane
- 1996, 13th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin NT. (Winner best Bark painting Category)
- 1996 Big Bark, Annandale Gallery, Sydney.
- 1997 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin NT
- 1997 Native Title, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney NSW
- 1997 Djambawa, William Mora Gallery, Melbourne Vic.
- 1998 Hollow Logs from Yirrkala, Annandale Gallery, Sydney.
- 1998 The Fifteenth National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards, Museum and Art Galleries of the NT, Darwin
- 1999 Carvings by Djambawa Marawili, Alcaston House Gallery, Melbourne, Vic.
- 1999-2001 Saltwater Country – Bark Paintings from Yirrkala, A National Tour – The Drill Hall Gallery, ANU, Canberra – John Curtin Gallery, Curtin University, Perth WA – National Australian Maritime Museum, Darling Harbour, Sydney NSW – Museum of Modern Art at Heide, Melbourne Vic – Araluen Art Centre, Alice Springs NT. Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane Qld
- 1999 16th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards, Museums and Art Galleries of the NT, Darwin NT.
- 1999 Gapu Minytji, an exhibition of sacred water designs of the Australian Aboriginals of north east Arnhem Land – Crafts Museum – New Delhi India.
- 2000 Fifth National Cultural Heritage Art Awards, Old Parliament House, Canberra, ACT
- 2000 Art Fair 2000, with Alcaston House Gallery, Melbourne Vic
- 2000 Annandale Galleries, Sydney, NSW: group show with Galuma and Dhukal Wirrpanda
- 2001 Ben Grady Gallery, Yolngu Bark
- 2001 18th NATSIAA, MAGNT
- 2002 Garma Larrakitj Installation
- 2002 Sydney Opera House Larrakitj installation
- 2003 Buwayak, Annandale Galleries Sydney
- 2003 Wukidi installation 29th June 2003 NT Supreme Court
- 2003 Abstractions , Drill Hall Gallery Canberra
- 2004 21st NATSIAA MAGNT
- 2004 Binocular: Looking closely at country, Ivan Dougherty Gallery UNSW COFA
- 2005 Kaplan Collection exhibition, Seattle Museum
- 2005 Source of Fire, Annandale Galleries Sydney-solo
- 2005 Gapan Gallery, Print Exhibition, Garma Festival.
- 2005 Yåkumirri, Raft Artspace (exhibition purchased by the Holmes a Court collection)
- 2005 Yåkumirri, Holmes a Court Gallery , Perth
- 2006 Walking together to aid Aboriginal Health, Shalom College UNSW
- 2006 Solo exhibition in Sydney Bienalle
- 2006 Gapan Gallery. Print Exhibition. Garma Festival
- 2006 Galuku Gallery, Print Exhibition,. Darwin Festival
- 2006 Asia Pacific Triennale Queensland Gallery of Modern Art opening Brisbane
- 2006 Bulayi Small Gems, Suzanne O’Connell Indigenous Art Brisbane
- 2007 Bukulungthunmi – Coming Together, One Place, Raft Artspace, Darwin, NT.
- 2008 Some Men I Have Met, Steve Fox of Mogo Raw Art, Mogo, NSW
- 2008 Berndt Etching Exhibition, Gapan Gallery, GarmaFestival.
- 2008 Berndt Etching Exhibition, Galuku Gallery, Darwin Festival
- 2008 “Bitpit” Yirrkala Sculpture, RAFT Artspace Darwin
- 2008 Outside Inside – bark and hollow logs from Yirrkala, Bett Gallery Hobart, Tas
- 2008 Melbourne Art Fair, Larrakitj, represented by Vivien Anderson Gallery, Melbourne, Vic
- 2008 25th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards, Museum and Art Gallery of the NT, Darwin NT
- 2008 Etched in the Sun: Prints made by Indigenous artists in collaboration with Basil Hall & Printers 1997-2007, ANU, Canberra
- 2008 Ochre, Menzies Auction, Melbourne
- 2008 A Few Real Gems I Have Come Across, Mogo Raw Art and Blues, Mogo, NSW
- 2009 Larrakitj – the Kerry Stokes Collection, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth, WA
- 2009 After Berndt – Indigenart, Mossenson Gallery, Perth, WA
- 2009 3rd Moscow Biennale, ‘the Garage’, Moscow, Russia.
- 2009 Menagerie; Contemporary Indigenous Sculpture, Australian Museum and touring.
- 2010 17th Biennale of Sydney – ‘Larrakitj – the Kerry Stokes Collection, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, NSW
- 2010 Djalkiri; We are standing on their names, Nomad Art, 24-Hour Art, Darwin Festival.
- 2011 Djambawa Marawili, Liywaday Wirrpanda and Nawurapu Wunungmurra, Annandale Galleries
- 2011 Telstra NATSIAA, MAGNT Darwin NT
- 2012 Seattle Art Museum Modern icons
- 2012 Barrku! RobyKing Gallery, Seattle in association with Harvey Art Projects
- 2012 Chiarascuro Gallery Santa Fe
- 2013 Djambawa,Vivien Anderson Gallery
- 2013 Prized Nomad Art Darwin
- 2014 The world is not a foreign land- new perspectives on contemporary Indigenous art; Timothy Cook, Djambawa Marawili, Ngarra, Rusty peters, Freda Warlapinni and Nyapanyapa Yunupingu , Ian Potter Museum of Art curated by Quentin Sprague.
- 2015 Lumggurma/North, Brumby Ute, USA
- 2015 Tuslusu Saltwater Istanbul Modern Istanbul Bienal Turkey