Yolŋu artist Marmburra Wananumba Banduk Marika AO (born 1954) has dedicated her career to the development, recognition and preservation of First Nations art and culture. Since the death of her father and brother, both established and renowned artists, Banduk and her sisters have maintained the artistic and cultural traditions of the Rirratjiŋu clan. They were among the first Yolŋu women urged to paint by their male kin to carry on this important work. From this experience Banduk emerged, not only as a successful artist, but also a respected activist, educator and community leader.
Favouring relief printmaking over bark painting, a prevalent genre in her community, Banduk translates her ancestral stories and knowledge through intricately-carved lines, figures and motifs. In 1986 she was Artist-in-Residence at Flinders University and returned in April 2018 when she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters. Most recently in 2019 she was made an Officer of the Order of Australia for her outstanding contribution the visual arts and is currently represented in the National Gallery of Australia’s exhibition Know My Name: Australian Women Artists 1900 to Now.
Flinders University Museum of Art care for a number of Banduk’s linocuts, some of which were made as part of her Artist-in-Residence program and relate to the Rirratjiŋu ancestral site known as Yalaŋbara (Port Bradshaw). Yalaŋbara is located south of Yirrkala in north-east Arnhem Land and is considered by the Yolŋu to be the original place of human creation. The crystal-clear waters and towering sand dunes of the peninsula belong collectively to the Rirratjiŋu clan, but Banduk and her relatives hold special custodial responsibilities for the site.
Exhibitions and Public Programs Manager, Flinders University Museum of Art
Adelaide, Australia, 2021
© Flinders University Museum of Art