Gapu-Monuk Saltwater

Gapu-Monuk Saltwater

November 2017 - February 2019

Gapu-Monuk are words from the Yolŋu matha language, of North-East Arnhem Land. Gapu (water), monuk (salt), describes Saltwater.

The exhibition centres around 40 Yirrkala bark paintings from the Saltwater Collection, created by the Yolŋu artists who petitioned for sea rights by painting their Saltwater Countries onto bark, and revealing sacred patterns or designs known as Miny’tji.

It also includes Mokuy (spirit) carvings, Larrakitj (mortuary pole paintings on hollowed trees) and other traditional and contemporary works.

Oral histories, aerial photography and traditional and contemporary Indigenous objects help visitors delve deeper into the stories of the communities who created the paintings, revealing a richer understanding of their connection to sea country.

In 1997, 47 Yolŋu artists from fifteen clans and eighteen homelands communities in North-East Arnhem Land revealed their sacred lore and their connections to land and sea in these paintings known as the Saltwater Collection. The works were initiated by Madarrpa clan leader Djambawa Marawili AM, following his indignation at discovering an illegal poacher’s camp on his sacred estate that included a decapitated crocodile.

More than a decade later, in July 2008, the High Court of Australia confirmed that the traditional owners of the Blue Mud Bay region in North-East Arnhem Land, together with the traditional owners of almost the entire Northern Territory coastline, have exclusive access rights to tidal waters overlying Aboriginal land.

The paintings were deemed the legal equivalent of title deeds to the sea rights of coastal waters.

"It is time for non-Aboriginal people to learn about this land, learn about the waters. So if we are living the way of reconciliation, you must learn about Native Title and Sea Right.”

- Djambawa Marawili, AM, 1999

Open daily, 9.30am'5pm, from 9 November 2017 - February 2019.
Included in the FREE Galleries Ticket.

❊ When ❊

From: Thursday 9th of November 2017  To  Thursday 28th of February 2019
Time: 9:30 am - 5:00 pm

❊ Venue | Location ❊

 Australian National Maritime Museum [ view ]
 2 Murray Street Sydney New South Wales 2009 || Map
 Telephone: 02 9298 3777

➼ Venue: 3 Calendar events | View Events

❊ Web Links ❊

Gapu-Monuk Saltwater

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