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Johnny Warrkatja

Gapuwiyak, NT

"This is a Ganalbingu story. It represents our homeland there at Ngaliyindi, at a place called Mululumurr. Everything important for Ganalbingu is there. That's the place where Warrnyu (Fruit bat) lives in the trees and Ngamburrngamburr (Spider) lives there too, and Djanyarr (Dog). These animals have a ceremony and dance from our song line ... This place and this story is important for Ganalbingu."

About the Artist

Johnny Warrkatja

�My name is Johnny Warrkatja. My father is the late Ian Wuluwul Malibirr (c. 1955 � 2010) and my mother is Lucy Wanapuyngu. I was born in Darwin in 1970 as their eldest son. As a young boy I spent some time living in Dhupuwamirri. There I watched song man and Wanapuy?u Elder Roy Ashley and Guyula Elder Raymond Marpin paint on bark. Together with my father, they taught me the stories, the designs and the songs. Since my father passed away in 2010, I am the eldest of the family and carry their songs and knowledge ... �

Johnny is a Yol?u man from the Ganalbingu clan and is known for his paintings of Ganalbingu songlines as well as his mother�s W�gilak clan stories. Along with other members of his clan, Johnny keeps culture strong through painting, song, dance and ceremony. He also has held the role of Chair of Gapuwiyak Arts and Culture and travelled across the country to open significant exhibitions such as the Aboriginal Modern Worlds exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia.

In 2017 he won the inaugural Kestin Indigenous Illustrator Award with his illustrations published in a book by acclaimed author Sally Morgan in 2019.

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