Gurrukmuŋu is the son of the important Gälpu clan leader and artist Mithinarri Gurruwiwi and mother Marrimarri Burarrwaŋa.
He is the brother to Djul’djul, Watjuku and Manany, all respected artists. He is one of the ‘Lost Boys’ celebrated in song and film in Arnhem land, as he and his brother survived for several days after being abandoned in the bush. Following this famous incident he and his brother Miṉdakurri were adopted by Margaret Djuwanydaŋu Yunupiŋu and her husband Dhuṯhuŋ Munuŋurr growing up at Yuḏuyudu on Melville Bay. He also spent significant time with his natural mother’s sister Batumbil Burarrwaŋa who was a powerful woman who kept the homeland of Matamata viable after her husband’s death in 1996. Her husband John Mandjuwi Gurruwiwi famously painted the patterns of Gälpu clan homeland Ŋaypinya which Gurrukmuŋu went on to depict. In 2015 he commenced painting his own clan images on bark and sculpting ironwood.
Gurrukmuŋu is also a maker of raŋga, ceremonial objects that are often made from hardwood and decorated with feathers. These objects are some of the most important for Yolŋu, kept out of sight and only ever seen during important ceremony. The making of raŋga is strictly reserved for those with the appropriate training, therefore this is testimony to his knowledge and status within his community.