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Jimmy Wululu, 1986

Martin van der Wal

inkjet print on rag paper (sheet: 42.0 cm x 29.7 cm, image: 25.3 cm x 25.3 cm)

Jimmy Wululu (1936-2005) was a Gupapuyngu (Yolngu) painter and sculptor. He grew up at Milingimbi Methodist Mission and worked as a labourer and builder, continuing to build and tend stock after he started to paint professionally in the late 1970s. The influence of his building training can be seen in his works, which are distinctively symmetrical and straight-lined. The major painter for his Gupapuyngu language group from the early 1980s, he painted fifteen log coffins for the Aboriginal Memorial. His work was shown in the Dreamings exhibition in the USA in 1988 and the Magiciens de la Terre show in Paris in 1989; he was also represented in The Continuing Tradition (1989), Paintings and Sculptures from Ramingining: Jimmy Wululu and Philip Gudthaykudthay at the Drill Hall Gallery (1992), Aratjara (1993-4) and Tyerabarrbowaryaou 2, I shall never become a whiteman at the MCA, Sydney (1994). His Bonggu Waterhole installation was shown at the Biennale of Sydney in 1998. Wululu often painted with David Malangi.

Martin van der Wal travelled from Townsville to Broome on his own initiative in 1986, photographing many Aboriginal artists who established major reputations in the ensuing years.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2005

Accession number: 2005.61.12

Currently on display: Gallery Six (Tim Fairfax Gallery)

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Artist and subject

Martin van der Wal (age 33 in 1986)

Jimmy Wululu (age 50 in 1986)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

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