Image Size: 58 x 57cm; Paper Size 72 x 70.5cm; Paper: Dutch Aquatint
In February/March 2020 Buku-Larrŋgay hosted a workshop with the students of Yirrkala Community Education Centre (the local school). Carly Farugia, the art teacher and her partner Liam- a ranger with Yirralka Homelands Rangers accepted the art centre’s invitation and assisted in sourcing local trees to create woodblocks using this found timber in native species like Gaḏayka (Stringybark), Ḻanapu (Cypress Pine), Djomula (Casuarina) and Ganiri (Beauty Leaf). The thinking was that instead of using woodblocks industrially prepared in pre-cut rectangles would we be able to work directly from the land and allow the shape of the tree to reflect in the composition not just the texture? This workshop was facilitated by master printmaker Sean Smith. He arrived just as the worst of the COVID Pandemic struck Australia. Sean chose to stay for the full length of the workshop despite a real question as to whether he would be able to return home to Melbourne.
This work is made from Mäṯpana (Indian Almond- Terminalia catappa) a common tree along the coastal areas of North East arnhemland. The artists says; “These are the Mätpana flowers. This tree is one we always use for its deep dark shade. We can also use the big leaves to press damper between whilst we cook it. The big pods have little sweet nuts inside which we can get once we cut through the outside. The Cockatoos love to eat these nuts too.”
Buḻwutja (Dhuwa, Cycnogeton dubium) is a water yam and described In the artist’s words the following:
‘This story is from a long time ago. People travelled around from place to place to hunt for ŋatha (food).
First we dig in the water for Buḻwutja. Then we make a fire. When the fire burns down we take the coals to one side and put sand on top of them. Then the hot sand cooks the Buḻwutja.