Looking at Art - October

Andrew Marrkula

<strong>Andrew Marrkula</strong><br/>b.1975, Galiwinku [Elcho Island], Northern Territory<br/>Marrkula clan; Gudjuk Skin; Yirritja moiety<br/>Dhuwalamirri language<br/><br/><i>Catfish</i> 2011<br/>Oil-based reduction woodblock print on Magnani paper, edn 8/14<br/>30 x 19.5cm [image] 38 x 29cm [paper]<br/>Collaborator: Sean Smith<br/>Produced by The Ownership Project Studio, Fitzroy, Victoria & Elcho Island Arts, Galiwinku Community<br/>Acquired by purchase through the CDU Foundation, 2014<br/>Charles Darwin University Art Collection - CDU2729<br/>Image © the artist & courtesy Elcho Island Arts, Galiwinku Community, Northeast Arnhem Land, Northern Territory

Andrew Marrkula is a young artist residing with his wife and two sons at Galiwin’ku Community on Elcho Island, located in the Arafura Sea off the coast of Northeast Arnhem Land. His ‘animal totems’ are bush turkey and catfish, which feature as key motifs in his work. He is custodian of stories relating to laragitj (or larrakitj), the carved and painted mortuary poles in Yolngu funeral ceremonies, passed down to him by his late father, Frank Djekula.

An accomplished painter instructed by Djekula, Marrkula has also distinguished himself as a printmaker of note in recent years. In 2010, he first took part in reduction woodcut workshops conducted at Elcho Island Arts by printmakers from Basil Hall Editions. The same year, Marrkula also participated in screenprinting workshops conducted through the School of Creative Arts and Humanities at Charles Darwin University. In late 2011, he worked with Northern Editions printers on an ANKAAA (Association of Northern, Kimberley and Arnhem Aboriginal Artists Inc) commissioned project entitled Big Family, involving more than thirty artists from across Northern Australia and celebrating the Association’s 25th anniversary in 2012. For this project, Marrkula produced a delicate drypoint with aquatint and screenprint, entitled Canoe Hunting Turtle.

Created during a woodblock printmaking project held in 2011 conducted by Sean Smith from The Ownership Project, Catfish depicts one of the artist’s principal family emblems. The quiet gravitas and balanced poise of Marrkula’s composition reflect his creative and aesthetic development in an introduced contemporary medium, at the same time bearing the hallmarks of the serene, hieratic art forms from this remote Northeast Arnhem Land island community.

Artist’s CV & Print Certificate information © the artist & courtesy Elcho Island Arts, Galiwin’ku Community, Arnhem Land

Correspondence with Elcho Island Arts, September-October 2014

W The Ownership Project: http://www.theownershipproject.com.au/about/


Anita Angel
Curator, Charles Darwin University Art Collection and Art Gallery
7 October 2014

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