MIDAWARR | HARVEST
The Art of Mulkun Wirrpanda and John Wolseley
4 August 2018 - 3 March 2019
Immerse yourself in a vast Arnhem Land floodplain and lose yourself in a forest of bark paintings, in an ambitious and beautiful cross-cultural collaboration between renowned landscape artist John Wolseley and the great Yolŋu artist, Mulkun Wirrpanda.
Midawarr | Harvest: The Art of Mulkun Wirrpanda and John Wolseley, is the culmination of an extraordinary friendship between two of Australia’s most distinguished senior artists, celebrating their shared obsession with traditional Yolŋu plant use.
The exhibition features a specially commissioned vast panoramic scroll painting of a floodplain (10m x 2.1m) by Wolseley and 60 paintings and memorial poles by Mulkun showcasing intricately detailed Yolŋu plants.
In 2009, Mulkun adopted Wolseley as her wawa (brother) and in the following years they harvested, painted and illustrated over 40 species of edible plants. The resulting exhibition is best described as a kind of three-dimensional rendering of north-east Arnhem Land flora.
Mulkun is passionate about passing on the important knowledge of these plants to a younger generation to counteract their dependence on junk food. Wolseley’s immersive landscape portrays a distant floodplain and features the same plants and trees which Mulkun has painted.
Djalkurrk, detail from Distant glimpses of the great floodplain seen through a veil of trees and hanging vines, 2017 by John Wolseley, National Museum of Australia.
Djalkurrk, 2014 by Mulkun Wirrpanda, donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program by Wayne and Vicki McGeoch.
Artists Mulkun Wirrpanda and John Wolseley. Photo: Angus Cameron
Midawarr/Harvest is a touring exhibition developed by the National Museum of Australia in partnership with Mulkun Wirrpanda and John Wolseley.