Outgoing manager, Martumili Artists
Gabrielle Sullivan, long-term outgoing manager at Martumili Artists, has taken great joy in watching Bugai Whyoulter emerge as an individual talent: “Initially Bugai would sit and watch the older women while she worked on her [spinifex] baskets … and being very generous and considerate, she’d often end up helping others out with their weaving, a kindness that was returned when she began to paint alongside the two Noras [senior artists Nora Wompi and Nora Nungabar],” she says.
“Bugai is a compulsive painter, but she also approaches her work in a very conscious manner, almost sketching her painting in at times. She also has a really attuned sense of colour and will seek out just the right reds and blues, for instance, and mix them with absolute care. She cannot help but paint – she has an incredibly energetic approach and zero hesitation. But she will also stand back from her work and take time to look, to absorb it, to respond to it. Bugai is very self reflective in that way. It is not uncommon for her to rework a painting several times, or to come back to a canvas weeks or even months later and adjust it.” Drawing further connections between artist colleagues, Sullivan aligns Whyoulter’s expressive and experimental approach with senior painter Yunkurra Billy Atkins, who has established his own distinct Martu idiom.