After years of working in the digital art realm The Mulka Project has begun to explore Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) as an avenue for Yolŋu artists to mint and authenticate their digital work.
Mulka’s inagural NFT artists, Wukun Wanambi & Ishmael Marika, were recipients of the M H Carnegie Fine Art NFT fellowship award and are both part of MintNFT, Australia’s first fine art NFT collective.
Developed entirely inhouse at The Mulka Project Studios in Yirrkala the first two NFT collections are launchng as part of Sydney Contemporary Art Fair on 11th November 2021.
If you are new to the world of NFTs and want to get involved view the buyers guide on MintNFT.
The two collections are detailed below and we will be adding new artists work as they become available.
Wawurritjpal by Wukuṉ Waṉambi
Wukun Wanambi’s opening NFT series is a highly detailed photogrammetry scan of his bark painting ‘Wawurritjpal’ on loan to The Yirrkala Museum. This 3D digital replica has been segmented into allotments creating 81 unique NFT artworks.
Wukun Wanambi is an award winning Yolŋu artist and senior Marrakulu clan leader. Wukun works through traditional Yolŋu mediums as well as being a prolific digital artist. Wukun’s artwork, depicting the ceremonial waters of his ancestral homeland Gurka’wuy, reside in major institutions and private collections throughout the world.
The Mulka Projects portion of the sale of these NFTs will be allocated to acquiring the original physical artwork and permanently accessioning it into the Yirrkala Museum’s public collection. Many successful contemporary Yolŋu artists sell their work to collectors and galleries around the world and is priced out of the acquiring budgets of non-for-profit museums like Yirrkala Museum. As a result of their success, all of the work the artist creates over their lifetime ends up far from the community. The Wawurritjpa Collection is a pilot project which can be applied to other contemporary artists so their work can be accessioned back into the community for many generations to enjoy.
Wawurritjpal NFT 3D Model Viewer
Rulyapa by Ishmael Marika
Ishmael Marika’s initial NFT series consists of hand drawn generative animations depicting the temporal states of the sacred Rirratjingu saltwater Rulyapa.
“I am singing the songline and animating the sacred design, Rulyapa. Rulyapa is the Rirratjiŋu moṉuk gapu (saltwater) between Yirrkala and Gutjaŋan (Bremer Island). In this artwork the Rulyapa is rough, representing the angry feelings of people. When Rulyapa is calm Gupadiku (seasnake) sleeps on the bottom of the sea but when Rulyapa gets too rough it wakes Gupadiku and it rises to the surface and gets angry and can hurt with fire. When there are arguments in our families we remind each other of the songlines of Rulyapa, to stand still like Mururruma (the sacred rock) and not be affected by the angry waves.”
Ishmael Marika is a young Rirratjingu clan leader, film maker, and award winning Yolŋu digital artist. Ishmael has exhibited at major institutions and galleries throughout the world.