All the Camp Dogs Sing This Song

27-12-2018 06:12

  • Ku (2012) [Natural ochres with acrylic binder on milkwood] by Garry Namponan; and
  • Ku (2012) [Natural ochres and charcoal with acrylic binder on milkwood] by Roderick Yunkaporta.

Garry Namponan (born 1960+) is a Ku (camp dog) sculpture artist, home is at Aurukun, on the western coast of Cape York Peninsula. Namponan learned his art from his father Angus who also did bark painting. Currently Garry and his brothers are learning carving from Uncle Roderick Yunkaporta (born 1948+). The Aurukun artists work across a range of media including sculpture, printmaking, book illustration and painting.

Namponan studied art at the Bachelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education, Northern Territory in the early 1980s and is one of the leading carvers of the Wik and Kugu Art and Craft Centre at Aurukun. His work has been in demand at exhibitions around Australia and he is proud that his younger brothers Leigh, Bevan and Lex, are following his artistic pursuits.

  • Jamu “Camp dog” (2001) – [Pandanus fibre, paperbark, feathers, earth pigments and glass, National Gallery of Victoria], by Lena Yarinkura (Rembarrnga artist, born c. 1961 near Maningrida).

Jamu (dogs) hold special practical significance for Rembarrnga women of Central Arnhem Land, as the artist explains: ‘The men used to go hunting with a spear and the women with a dog. If the men didn’t catch a kangaroo, the women would catch a goanna. If there were neither kangaroo nor goanna then they would eat traditional bush food such as sugarbag, lily root and yam’.

“Great kudos to Ku dogs – and Jamu dogs too!”

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