The Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT) is pleased to announce the 2017 People’s Choice Award winner, Anniebell Marrngnamarrnga.

Marrngnamarrnga’s stunning work Pregnant yawkyawk is a breathtaking weaving made from pandanus and dyed with natural pigments.

‘I learnt how to weave from my mother, Nancy Djulumba, who passed away a long time ago. I first made coiled baskets, twined bags and string bags. My favourite subject is to represent the yawkyawk (spirit) who lives in the water at Kubumi. In this work I have represented a pregnant yawkyawk (spirit).’ - Mrs Marrngnamarrnga

Yawkyawk is a word in the Kunwinjku/Kunwok language of Western Arnhem Land meaning 'young woman' and 'young woman spirit being'. The different groups of Kunwinjku people (one of the Eastern dialect groups call themselves Kuninjku) each have Yawkyawk mythologies, which relate to specific locations in clan estates. These mythologies are represented in bark paintings and sculptures of Yawkyawk beings. There are also a few examples of rock art images of these beings.

'I came with the idea to make flat yawkyawks from pandanus [Pandanus spiralis]. My husband helps me to build the bamboo frame and I then weave with colourful pandanus in the same technique I used when making twined bags.' - Mrs Marrngnamarrnga

Anniebell Marrngnamarrnga lives in Maningrida, Central Arhnem Land and is supported through Maningrida Arts & Culture, an arts and cultural enterprise that has and continues to support hundreds of artists on their homelands.

Anniebell Marrngnamarrnga, Pregnant yawkyawk, pandanus with natural pigments, 34th Telstra NATSIAA