Biennale of Sydney

The Mulka Project

The Mulka Project, Watami Manikay (Song of the Winds), 2020. Installation view for the 22nd Biennale of Sydney (2020), Art Gallery of New South Wales. Commissioned by the Biennale of Sydney. Contributors: Joseph Brady, Rebecca Charlesworth, Ishmael Marika, Mundatjŋu Munuŋgurr, Patrina Munuŋgurr, Arian Pearson, , Siena Maytu Wurrmarri Stubbs, Wukun Wanambi, Gutiŋarra Yunupiŋu. Courtesy Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka Centre, Yirrkala. Photograph: Zan Wimberley.
The Mulka Project, Watami Manikay (Song of the Winds), 2020. Installation view for the 22nd Biennale of Sydney (2020), Art Gallery of New South Wales. Commissioned by the Biennale of Sydney. Contributors: Joseph Brady, Rebecca Charlesworth, Ishmael Marika, Mundatjŋu Munuŋgurr, Patrina Munuŋgurr, Arian Pearson, , Siena Maytu Wurrmarri Stubbs, Wukun Wanambi, Gutiŋarra Yunupiŋu. Courtesy Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka Centre, Yirrkala. Photograph: Zan Wimberley.

The Mulka Project
Established 2007 at the Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka Art Centre, Yirrkala
Live and work at Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka Art Centre, Yirrkala; North East Arnhem Land, Australia; and throughout the world


Watami Manikay is an immersive collaborative performance by the Yolŋu digital artists of The Mulka Project. The collaboration weaves together the kinship relationships of artists from multiple connected Yolŋu clans. It links beyond people to plants, animals, places, waters, seasons, and through to the winds, Bulluṉu (east wind), Bärra (west wind), Luŋgurrma (north wind), Maḏirri (south wind) …

At the centre of Watami Manikay stands a unique larrakitj (hollow ceremonial log) painted white with gapaṉ (ceremonial clay). The larrakitj represent the foundation gunḏa (the rock). The unwavering rock grounds each clan to their identity whilst the ephemeral gapaṉ represents the changing clouds rebuilding anew with every passing season.”

The Mulka Project is a collective of highly active artists who work with cutting-edge digital technologies, producing video art that links across land, recording and archiving song and everyday life. These practices range from precise projection mapping, to digital animation and editing. The Mulka Project’s work is a continuation of ‘countless generations of evolving Yolŋu art practice’. Through multiple interweaving film projections, Watami Manikay (Song of the Winds), 2020 presented at the Art Gallery of New South Wales envelops the viewer in a cyclical work formed by the vast Yolŋu film archive managed by Yolŋu law, governance and culture.

The Mulka Project is a collective of practicing multimedia artists, cinematographers, sound engineers and post-production technicians based in Yirrkala, North East Arnhem Land. The name Mulka means a sacred but public ceremony, and, to hold or protect. It is Mulka's mission to sustain and protect Yolŋu cultural knowledge whilst being managed by Yolŋu law and governance. At the core of The Mulka Project resides a growing, living archive of Yolŋu knowledge, ceremony, and cultural history which gives voice to generations past and also allows contemporary Yolŋu knowledge and law to speak to coming generations and a worldwide audience. With state of the art facilities and equipment The Mulka Project collaborates on each artist's concepts to produce highly developed works for exhibitions nationally and internationally utilising our exceptional expertise in 6k film, animation, VR, 3D modeling, photogrammetry, projection mapping, and sound production.

Commissioned by the Biennale of Sydney
Courtesy Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka Centre, Yirrkala

Contributors:

Wukun Wanambi
Born 1962 in Yirrkala, Northern Territory, Australia
Lives and works at Yirrkala, Australia, throughout Australia and the world
Clan: Marrakulu
Moiety: Dhuwa
Homeland: Gurka'wuy
Cultural Director and artist at The Mulka Project

Ishmael Marika
Born 1990 in Nhulunbuy, Northern Territory, Australia
Lives and works in Yirrkala, Australia, throughout Australia and the world
Clan: Rirratjiŋu
Moiety: Dhuwa
Homeland: Guluruŋa
Creative Director and artist at The Mulka Project

Patrina Munuŋgurr
Born 1988 in Nhulunbuy, Northern Territory, Australia
Lives and works in Yirrkala, Northern Territory, Australia
Clan: Djapu
Moiety: Dhuwa
Homeland: Waṉḏawuy
Senior Filmmaker and artist at The Mulka Project

Gutiŋarra Yunupiŋu
Born 1997 in Nhulunbuy, Northern Territory, Australia
Lives and works in Yirrkala, Northern Territory, Australia
Clan: Gumatj
Moiety: Yirritja
Homeland: Buymarr
Filmmaker and artist at The Mulka Project

Mundatjŋu Munuŋgurr
Born 1997 in Nhulunbuy, Northern Territory, Australia
Lives and works in Yirrkala, Northern Territory, Australia
Clan: Djapu
Moiety: Dhuwa
Homeland: Waṉḏawuy
Filmmaker and artist at The Mulka Project

Arian Ganambarr-Pearson
Born 1997 in Nhulunbuy, Northern Territory, Australia
Lives and works in Yirrkala, Northern Territory, Australia
Clan: Maŋgalili
Moiety: Yirritja
Homeland: Bawaka
Sound Engineer at The Mulka Project

Siena Mayutu Wurrmarri Stubbs
Born 2002 in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia
Lives and works in Yirrkala, Northern Territory, Australia
Filmmaker and artist at The Mulka Project

Joseph Brady
Born 1978 in Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Lives and works in Yirrkala, Northern Territory, Australia
Program Director at The Mulka Project

Rebecca Charlesworth
Born 1977 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Lives and works in Yirrkala, Northern Territory, Australia
Studio Coordinator at The Mulka Project

Exhibited Artwork

The Mulka Project, Watami Manikay (Song of the Winds), 2020, gaḏayka (stringy bark), gapaṉ (white clay), djarraṯawun (light), and rirrakay (sound). Contributors: Wukun Wanambi, Patrina Munuŋgurr, Ishmael Marika, Gutiŋarra Yunupiŋu, Mundatjŋu Munuŋgurr, Arian Pearson , Siena Maytu Wurrmarri Stubbs, Rebecca Charlesworth, Joseph Brady. Courtesy Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka Centre, Yirrkala.

Photograph: Zan Wimberley

Location: Art Gallery of New South Wales