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John Mawurndjul

I am the old and the new

Join us at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia for a comprehensive survey of one of Australia’s leading contemporary artists.

John Mawurndjul AM (b. 1952, Mumeka, Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, Australia) is celebrated for his mastery of rarrk (fine painted cross-hatching), a tradition shared by generations of Kuninjku artists. This exhibition of bark paintings and sculptures tells the stories of Kuninjku culture and the significant locations surrounding the artist’s home in western Arnhem Land.

‘I am the old and the new’ reunites works of art from national and international collections made across a forty-year period. The artist has led the development of this exhibition, which describes in Kuninjku (and English) his places of special cultural significance known as kunred, as well as the sacred places and spirits – or djang – that resurface time and time again in his art making. We also encounter the animals and spirit beings that populate these locations including female water spirits (yawkyawk), rainbow serpents (ngalyod) and mischievous mimih spirits.

The Mardayin ceremony, comprising rituals of a sacred nature, and informing so much of Mawurndjul’s work, remains a timeless narrative thread that links the past to the present, and sheds light on Kuninjku future – embracing the old and the new.

This exhibition was developed and co-presented by the MCA and the Art Gallery of South Australia (AGSA), in association with Maningrida Arts & Culture.

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When

Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays to Sundays, 10am to 5pm
Wednesdays, 10am to 9pm

Friday 6 July to Sunday 23 September 2018

Cost

Free

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Accessibility services

  • Mobility access
  • People who are blind or have low vision
  • Braille

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