A Vibrant Exhibition Of Traditional Sculpture + Contemporary Art

Various artwork types by 9 artists from a modest and discrete Aboriginal community on the west coastline of Cape York peninsula come together in this new exhibition presented by Brunswick Road Gallery and Wik & Kugu Art Centre ‘Aak Puul: Artwork From The Wik & Kugu Region’.  

Amid the vibrant ochre and acrylic paintings by Devena Wikmunea, Leigh Namponan and Janet Koongotema, are a selection of iconic camp doggy sculptures by Leo Namponan, Bruce Bell, Keith Wikmunea, Leigh Namponan, Lex Namponan, Roderick Yunkaporta and Bevan Namponan. 

Through the illustration of the exceptional visible arts exercise belonging to the five clans who are living on Aurukun, this exhibition aspires to show to Melbourne audiences the unity and energy of Wik & Kugu lifestyle.

Keith Wikmunea, senior Wik-Alkan artist points out, ‘”Aak Puul” refers to one’s Tribal Place or Homeland. It’s a term that particularly relates to a person’s father’s Nation, and his father’s prior to him. Aurukun’s visible art is intrinsically tied to Aak Puul which finds its expression in an historical performative cultural custom of track and dance.’

Keith’s function in the exhibition, ‘Thiikel – Kencharang Croc’ and ‘Ku’Kencharang’ (a substantial crocodile and barking doggy manufactured from standard human body paint models and ochre on Milkwood) had been created to enhance a set of placing present-day paintings by his daughter, Devena Wikmunea.

Collectively, the bold present-day artwork of the women of all ages in Aurukan and the equally lively sculptures by the males are section of a cultural continuum rooted in the ancestral past. 

Keith suggests, ‘Before time, our old people today carved all their totems like crocodile, echidna and kangaroo. Just about every carving has a connection to a Story Spot named Awa’. There are lots of Awa’ across the Wik & Kugu Lands. These locations are forbidden to the uninitiated and are considered Ngench Thayan (Sacred Area). The men’s and women’s art types from Aurukun are all connected to these destinations. When we carve our totems, we are sharing our stories from these crucial places’. 

Aak Puul: Art From The Wik & Kugu Locationis open up from 15 September to 2 October at Brunswick Avenue Gallery. 

Study much more about the exhibition listed here. 

Brunswick Street Gallery
Stage 1 & 2
322 Brunswick Avenue
Wurundjeri State, Fitzroy VIC 

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