Nyapanyapa Yunupingu is an inspiration. She is a proud Yolŋu woman from the Gumatj clan of North East Arnhem Land, a strong figure in her community who creates her art simply because it’s in her blood.
Painting for her is a meditative process – a place of reflection, embedded in her life and history. It reminds me of why I started dancing as a young man – because I had to, because it was my calling, and because it took me to a safe and spiritual place. Stepping into the studio, hearing that unmistakable Bangarra music, seeing the dance ensemble barefoot and low to the ground and creating dance stories is my sacred space.
Nyapanyapa is so innately talented that her works give endless joy to those who see them. Each time I visit Yirrkala, I’ve always felt drawn to her energy, her spirit. I’ve long admired her paintings and her last series featuring young dancing girls fascinated me and sparked the idea for a creative exchange. But it is her Buffalo Story painting, which won her the prestigious Telstra Art prize in 2008, that was a jumping off point for this work.
- Stephen Page, 2016
- OUR land people stories Cast Sheet 2016 PDF 393kb