Banduk Marika Walu gu Guamala
Bunduk Marika, Yalambara & Walu gu guamala
According to the National Museum of Australia, Bunduk (also known as Banduk) Marika comes from a highly talented and influencial family of artists that have been ambassadors for indigenous culture.
Banduk Marika is a multi-talented artist, actress, educator, and promoter of Indigenous cultural and environmental values.
She was the first Yolngu printmaker, and only recently branched into bark painting. A very early one of these was awarded the Telstra Bark Painting Award at the 22nd Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award in 2005.
Banduk lived at Yirrkala until moving to live in Darwin in 1973. After 6 years she moved to Sydney where she started drawing to pass the time. With encouragement from her friend, author Jennifer Isaacs, Banduk began a successful career in printmaking in 1983.
She returned to Yirrkala in 1988 where she initially managed the community art centre, Buku-Larrnggay Arts and Crafts, and pursued her printmaking and various cross-cultural education programs.
In 1992 her increasing interest in the environment led to her election as vice chairperson of Dhimurru Land Management Aboriginal Corporation. She also established the Mawalan 1 Gamarrwa Nuwul Association to manage Rirratjingu lands.
Since the defunding of Landcare, Banduk has been working as a cultural officer at Laynhapuy Homeland Association, balancing her a career of an artist with her job and membership on numerous interstate committees. In 2002 she won the prestigious Australia Council’s Red Ochre Award.
The Works of art
The University of Canberra is fortunate enough to have two works of art by Banduk in the Art Collection. The first, titled Yalambara, depicts two goannas moving around a rectangle that, with close inspection shows the tracks made by the goanna. The image also has a star and two palm trees set in the background. The image is significant as it reflects one of the Marika family stories. This image was included into a portfolio of prints known as 'The Land' to mark the bicentennial anniversary of Europeans arriving on the shores of Australia. Banduk was one of twenty-five artists to contribute to the portfolio. It is a linocut print and one of a limited edition of 80.
The second work of art, Walu gu guamala, depicts an image which is segmented into eight parts, each depicting a fish. The images are etched into a brown/tan background and may reflect her people's traditional hunting activities. The work is a linocut print and is a limited edition of 14 of 20 and was published in 1987.