Judith and Ron Behan collection no. 1
This collection consists of three sculptures and two paintings, all created by Aboriginal artists in the north and north-west of Australia.
The three sculptures are Mimih spirit figures, wooden carvings painted with natural earth pigments, by James Iyuna, Annie (or Anna) Wurrkidj and Emmanuel Wurrkidj, who are artists associated with Maningrida Arts and Culture in Maningrida, Northern Territory. The fourth work is a painting by Lofty Bardayal Nadjamarrek, 'Mimi Hunting', in natural earth pigment on paper, depicting a spirit figure hunting kangaroo. The final work is a painting in natural earth pigments on canvas by Queenie McKenzie, 'Walungawari Waterhole'.
Each of these works were sold through Indigenous community art centres - Maningrida Arts and Culture, Injalak Arts and Crafts and Warmun Arts Centre - to the Chapman Gallery. Iyuna, Nadjamerrek and McKenzie are all internationally recognised contemporary artists. Annie Wurrkidj and Emmanuel Wurrkidj are emerging artists whose work is increasingly recognised. They demonstrate how much of contemporary indigenous art practice is deeply embedded in landscape and spiritual beliefs that are thousands of years old. Each artist draws on particular sites and their spiritual associations with them, in the creation of their work. Much of their materials are likewise drawn from their immediate environment.
Copyright National Museum of Australia
Physical access to the collection by appointment only