1980

Phasellus sed libero blandit, placerat purus a, commodo est.

Increased demand for Indigenous fine art in the 1980s led Yolŋu artists to return to large barks. Additionally, improved transportation made it easier to harvest large sheets of bark and to ship the paintings safely. In 1981, Aboriginal Australia (sponsored by the Aboriginal Arts Board) traveled to several Australian art galleries before touring the United States, Japan, and Europe. It is the largest exhibition of Aboriginal art to date. Yilila Munuŋgirritj was the first Yolŋu woman to experiment with printmaking. She was followed by Banduk and Dhuwarrwarr Marika. In 1983, Gawirriṉ Gumana suggested Buku-Larrŋgay Arts and Cultural Centre as a new name for the Yirrkala Art and Craft Centre. “Buku-Larrŋgay” translates as “the feeling on your face as it is struck by the first rays of the sun,” or facing east, which refers to the clans of the Miwatj region east of Milingimbi. In 1985, the Yolŋu established Laynhapuy Homelands Association Inc., which serves as a resource center for 27 homeland settlements across the region. Banduk Marika and Jennifer Isaacs formed the company Miyalko (from the Yolŋu word miyalk, or women). The company assists remote Aboriginal artists by exhibiting their work in Sydney. In 1988, on the bicentenary of British arrival in Australia, more than 40,000 Aboriginal people and non-Indigenous supporters protested in the largest march held in Sydney to date. At the Barunga Sport and Cultural Festival, Arrernte and Warlpiri men from central Australia and Yolŋu from northern Australia created the Barunga Statement. Sacred designs from both regions surround a statement that requests recognition of the rights of Indigenous landowners by the government. The statement was presented to Prime Minister Bob Hawke. The Aboriginal Memorial, consisting of 200 hollow-log coffins by artists from central Arnhem Land, was exhibited at the Sydney Biennale. The exhibition Dreamings: The Art of Aboriginal Australia traveled through Australia and the United States between 1988-90. The American businessman John W. Kluge began collecting Aboriginal art after seeing Dreamings.

Pieces from this Decade