Garawan Waṉambi joins Hugo Michell Gallery stable

Adelaide gallery welcomes the addition of Yolŋu artist Garawan Waṉambi to its represented artists.

Words: Charlotte Middleton

Hugo Michell Gallery, Tarntanya/Adelaide, has announced the addition of Yolŋu artist Garawan Wanambi to its represented artists.

Born in 1965, Garawan Wanambi belongs to the Marrakulu clan and works out of the Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Centre in Northern Arnhem Land. His welcome to the Hugo Michell Gallery stable comes off the back of the solo exhibition The Cleansing that he presented with the gallery in late 2021.

After his father’s death in 1973, Wanambi was brought up by a Marraŋu leader and adopted to the Marraŋu clan. Through this connection, Garawan paints Marraŋu designs – the counterpart of Marrakulu from the other side of Arnhem Bay. Wanambi and his family continue to live and work at Gängan, to the south of Yirrkala, and he has emerged as one of the most gifted of the new generation of artists based there.

Wanambi extends the history and practice of Yolŋu painting, continuing to use natural pigments and miny’tji (sacred clan designs) while also experimenting with the mixing of natural pigments to form unique colours and deliberate tonal variations. His precise geometry and complex layering of designs create a depth of field on an otherwise flattened surface and a mesmerising optical effect. In doing this, Wanambi explores the Yolŋu concept of Buwayak ‒ simultaneously making elements both visible and invisible.

Wanambi was a finalist in the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards in 2009, 2014, and 2020, winning the NATSIA Award for Best Park Painting in 2014. He was also a finalist in the Kate Challis RAKA Award in 2013.

Wanambi has works held in a number of significant collections including the Kerry Stokes Larrakitj Collection, The Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection (USA), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Charles Darwin University Art Collection, Artbank, Art Gallery of South Australia, National Museum of Australia, Monash University Art Museum Collection. His works are also held in private collection both nationally and internationally.

This article was posted 25 February 2022.

Image: Garawan Wanambi with his exhibition ‘The Cleansing’ at Hugo Michell Gallery, 2021.


Gow Langsford Gallery welcomes Berlin-based artist

Yafeng Duan joins Tāmaki-makau-rau/Auckland Gallery.

Sullivan+Strumpf snags Tiffany Loy

Singapore textile artist to be added to international gallery’s lineup.

New artist on the menu for Arthouse

Scott Duncan has joined the Warrane/Sydney gallery.

Kasia Tons heads to MARS

Narrm/Melbourne’s MARS Gallery seams on a roll with new textile artist.