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David Malangi Daymirringu

1927-1999

Language: Manyarrŋu
Clan: Manharrŋu
Moiety: Dhuwa

David Malangi Daymurrungu was born at Mulanga in central Arnhem Land. Malangi is well known for the fact that one of his paintings was reproduced without his permission on the one dollar note in 1966, he was later financially compensated and received a specially struck medal after intervention by the Governor of the Reserve Bank, Dr H.C. Coombs. This payment by the Reserve Bank to Malangi was the first acknowledgement of copyright for Indigenous artists’ designs in Australian.

In 1979 he along with George Milpurrurru and Johnny Bonguwuy became the first Aboriginal artists to exhibit their work at the Biennale of Sydney. In 1983 he represented Australia at the São Paulo Art Biennial also that year his worked was shown in ‘Dreaming’s: the art of Aboriginal Australia’, Asia Society Galleries, New York. In 1997 he was awarded the Australia Council Emeritus Award and he received an honorary doctorate in 1998 from the Australian National University.

Malangi was also one of the artists who carved and painted ‘The Aboriginal Memorial’, an installation of 200 hollow log coffins made by artists from Arnhem Land in the late 1980s and which commemorates all the indigenous people who have died as a result of European settlement. It was first displayed at the 1988 Sydney Biennale but is now on permanent display at the National Gallery of Australia.