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David Djarrka

Biography

David Djarrka and his wife Wendy Galanini Yunupingu collaborate on Mokuycarvings. They collect the wood together, discuss the story and the form the carving will take. David generally carves the wood while Galanini will paint it. The artists have the authority to paint and carve the stories of their grandparents, parents, brother and sisters.

Mokuy are ghosts or spirit beings. Different Mokuy belong to different clans and have unique personalities. David and Wendy can only carve the Mokuy that belong to their clans. David describes his artistic process in this way. "I close my eyes and think about the Mokuy dahwu (story). These stories are passed down from our ancestors and are real for Yolngu people.

I see him as the story describes and I carve and paint how he appears to me, big or small, with dots, or dressed in feathers for ceremony, red, black, white and yellow colours.

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Aboriginal Art (991)