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Namiyal Bopirri


"I was bon at DJIIingirrimirrnear Yathalamarra. Alot of yolngu camped there; the mission was only small. My father Alex Gingadarn and mother used to camp there. My father died in Milingimbi after the Second World War."

"Aboriginal artist, Namiyal Bopirri was born in 1929 at Djilinginimir in north-eastern Arnhem Land. She is of the Galwanuk-Liyagalawumirr people and was brought up in the Yolngu (traditional Aboriginal) ways.

Namiyal learned weaving from her mother and is now recognised as one of the finest weavers of Ramingining, known for her definite, firm style and use of strong colours and shapely form.

She began painting in the late 1980’s when her late husband, Tony Djikululu, taught her bark painting. She often collaborated with her husband on bark paintings intended for the public domain. While the collaboration of artists in particular, ritual relationships and belonging to opposite moieties is a common feature of the production of art in ritual circumstances, it is rare for a husband and wife to work together.

Many of Namiyal’s images come from the Wagilag Sisters creation story, one of the most important creation myths of this region: her itchy caterpillars, bush foods and snakes are all elements of this story. Her country, Guruwana, is often painted in the minimalist sacred rocks design. Other favourite subjects include Wayanaka, oyster beds, which are features of her rocky salt-water country east of Ramingining on the mainland side of Huchinson Strait.

Most of Namiyals works are painted on bark, however during the dry months, when bark collection is impossible, Namiyal will rummage for plyboard off-cuts from buildings and use these to paint on."
- Australian Art Network