This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

Intricate Bark Artwork From The 'Top End', On Show At Koskela

Art

A beautiful new exhibition opened on the weekend at Koskela Gallery in Rosebery, Sydney, bringing together the works of 12 artists from three art centres in Arnhem Land. Artists from Buku-Larrngay Mulka Centre, Ngukurr Arts Aboriginal Corporation and Maningrida Arts and Culture have contributed works to Top End Bugi, a dynamic show that features a collection of 36 works on Stringybark, and a selection of Larrakit,j across a range of different styles.

Top End Bugi is the latest in Koskela Gallery’s commitment to showing only artwork from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists. We learn a little more about the art centres they’ve worked with on the spectacular exhibition!

21st September, 2020

Men from Maningrida stripping the Stringybark trees to create the artwork surfaces. Photo – courtesy of Maningrida Arts & Culture.

Left: ‘Top-End Bugi’ work on display at the Koskela Gallery in Rosebery, Sydney. Right: Detail of ‘Mustering’ by Jill Daniels of Ngukurr Arts Centre. Photo – courtesy of Koskela.

A piece of Stringybark ready to be cured. Photo – courtesy of Maningrida Arts & Culture.

Painted Larrakitj by Mulkuṉ Wirrpanda, Djirrirra Wunumurra Yukuwa and Manini Gumana of Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Centre. Photo – courtesy of Koskela.

Left: ‘Top-End Bugi’ work on display at the Koskela Gallery in Rosebery, Sydney. Right: Detail of ‘Warraburnburn’ by Matilda Pascoe of Maningrida Arts & Culture. Photo – courtesy of Koskela.

Left: Wally Wilfred of Ngukurr Arts working on ‘Devil Devil’. Right: women curing the Stringybark piece.

Exhibition shot of ‘Top End Bugi’ at Koskela. Photo – courtesy of Koskela.

Sally Tabart
Monday 21st September 2020

In 2020, Sydney-based furniture and design brand Koskela made the commitment for their Gallery to operate purely as a platform to showcase the works of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists.  Their most recent exhibition, Top End Bugibrings together 12 emerging and established artists from three different art centres in Arnhem Land, Buku-Larrngay Mulka Centre, Ngukurr Arts Aboriginal Corporation and Maningrida Arts and Culture, celebrating the medium of contemporary bark artwork in a range of different styles.

Top End Bugi combines Top End, a collective term given to the northernmost region of the Northern Territory, and Bugi, the Darug (the language of the Yuin–Kuric group) word for bark. As a cultural practice, bark painting is steeped in thousands of years of history, and is an incredibly important medium for communicating culture and stories, and connection to the land.

‘This story is from a long time ago. People travelled around from place to place to hunt for ŋatha (food)’, shares artist Mulkun Wirrpanda from Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Art Centre, telling the importance of the Bulwutja (water yam) through her textured, intricate artworks. ‘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.’

Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Art Centre, Ngukurr Arts and Maningrida Arts and Culture are all Aboriginal owned and run art centres that do incredible work to support the artists and communities through providing opportunities for financial independence. Their significance really cannot be overstated!

Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Centre

Buku Larrngay Mulka Centre is located in Yirrkala, a small Aboriginal community in the north-eastern region of the Northern Territory. The artists of Yirrkala are among the first Indigenous Australians to recognise the potential use of visual art as a political tool. As a hub of creativity and community, this art centre is home to many legendary artists, many of whom are renowned for their work on Ṉuwayak (Stringybark). Bark from the Stringybark tree is stripped, trimmed, dried by the fire and then weighed down to create a painting surface.

The Buku Arts artists exhibiting their work in Top-End Bugi at Koskela are Mulkun Wirrpanda, Djirrirra Wunumurra Yukuwa, and Manini Gumana.

Ngukurr Arts 

On the banks of the Roper River in Ngukurr, South East Arnhem Land, Ngukurr is under the Indigenous Protected Area (IPA) which is managed by the Yugul Mangi Rangers. Ngurkurr Arts brings together people of many different clans and language groups including Ngalakgan, Alawa, Mangarrayi, Ngandi, Marra, Warndarrang, Nunggubuyu, Ritharrngu-Wägilak and Rembarrnga. Together these clans are known as Yugul Mangi. The region of Ngukurr is under the Indigenous Protected Area (IPA) which is managed by the Yugul Mangi Rangers. Operating since 1988, Ngukurr Arts is home to many talented artists with an adventurous styles and bold colours.

The Ngukurr Arts artists exhibition their work in Top-End Bugi at Koskela are Norman Wilfred, Wally Wilfred, Wayne Bingal, and Jill Daniels.

Maningrida Arts and Culture

Maningrida Arts & Culture is based on Kunibídji country in Arnhem Land in Australia’s Northern Territory. The area where artists live encompasses 7,000 square kilometres of land and sea, and over 100 clan estates, where people speak more than 12 distinct languages. An enterprise of the Bawinanga Aboriginal Corporation, artists from Maningrida Arts & Culture have had works shown in galleries and museums all around the world.

Aboriginal people in this region are still on country, surviving and resilient because their country is the centre of their epistemology, their belief system, culture – djang.

Maningrida Arts and Culture have elected a lineup of all-female artists to exhibit work in Top-End Bugi at Koskela – Gloreen Campion, Apphia Wurrkidj, Matilda Pascoe, Eugenie Bonson and Melba Gunjarrwanga.

Top End Bugi 
Koskela Gallery
September 19th – November 1st
Open Fridays and Saturdays, 10am-4pm
1/85 Dunning Avenue

Rosebery, Sydney 

This Week

Studio Visit

The Dreamy New Retail Space Of A Professional Plant Charmer

Consider us charmed by Ryan Klewer’s (aka Plant Charmer) brand new headquarters in East Brunswick!
Sasha Gattermayr

Homes

An Owner-Built, Architect-Designed Renovation Of A Charming 1920s Melbourne Home

Lauren Egan and Glenn Hester collaborate with Project 12 Architecture on a thoughtful update to their 1920s Preston home, with interiors by
Lucy Feagins
  19 hours ago

News

Colourful New Kids Books From A Legendary Local Illustrator

Artist Kat MacLeod teaches us our ABCs in this super cute range of books from Thames & Hudson.

Architecture

A Contemporary Beach House Designed By An Architect For Her Parents

The Bendalong Beach House by Madeleine Blanchfield provided such a serene escape for its owners, it became their full-time residence!

Creative People

The Best News Story Of 2021, So Far!

We check in on Think Thornbury owners Maggie May and Josh Kelly and their son Remy and get an update on their family!

Interiors

The 5 Rules Of Good Kitchen Design, According To Cantilever Interiors

A good kitchen starts with observing these five rules, brought to you by Australian design and manufacturing kitchen brand Cantilever Interi...

Architecture

A Lean, Clean Renovation To A Grand Heritage Weatherboard

ioa Studio transforms a cavernous Victorian residence into a light, bright contemporary home - and adds an element of surprise!
Sasha Gattermayr
02:40

Small Business

Our (Free!) Small Business Summer School Is Here!

Got a burning business idea but no idea where to start? Small Business Consultant Fiona Killackey is here to guide you through how to get st...

Studio Visit

A Conversation With Artist And Former Youth Prime Minister (!) Aretha Brown

The 20-year-old Gumbaynggirr woman shares her thoughts on the intersection of community and creativity, how she feels around this time of ye...
Bridget Caldwell-Bright

Architecture

Bigger Isn’t Better In This Newcastle Home

Covering just a 55 square metre footprint, this Curious Practice project in Newcastle proves less is truly more!

Art

The Nomadic Artist Who Is Always Painting On The Road

Emily Imeson lives her life out of a four wheel drive, travelling the country in pursuit of new landscapes to paint! Her solo show, 'Ancient...
Sasha Gattermayr
  11 hours ago

News

Art Deco Meets The 1980s In Greg Natale’s New Vase Collection

The Australian interior designer launches his latest vase collection, ‘New Wave.’
Amelia Barnes
  9 hours ago

Homes

Louella Boitel Gill's Loved And Layered Bungalow By The Beach

Interior and furniture designer Louella Boîtel-Gill has turned her former Airbnb in the Northern Rivers into an idyllic family home.

News

Sit Front Row At The Country To Couture Fashion Show Tonight!

The 2020 runway show featuring an incredible lineup of contemporary First Nations designers will be broadcast via Facebook this Friday (toda...

Architecture

This Couple's Home Is Two Houses In One!

Coy Yiontis Architects have designed this home with separate areas for a couple who have been living together for 50 years. His and hers goa...

View Comments

Similar Stories

Art

Meet The Next Generation Of Artists From Maningrida, NT

Young artists Kenan Namunjdja and Rosina Gunjarrwanga are front and centre of the MCA's prestigious Primavera 2019 exhibition, on now in Syd...

Art

The Winners Of The 2020 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards

We share highlights and winners from the country's most anticipated award for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists!

Creative People

A Landmark Collaboration Between Bábbarra Women's Centre x Kip&Co

After two years of development, the Bábbarra Women’s Centre x Kip&Co collaborative collection is finally ready for the world to see!

This Week

Architecture

Bigger Isn’t Better In This Newcastle Home

Covering just a 55 square metre footprint, this Curious Practice project in Newcastle proves less is truly more!

Homes

An Owner-Built, Architect-Designed Renovation Of A Charming 1920s Melbourne Home

Lauren Egan and Glenn Hester collaborate with Project 12 Architecture on a thoughtful update to their 1920s Preston home, with interiors by
Lucy Feagins
  19 hours ago

Studio Visit

The Dreamy New Retail Space Of A Professional Plant Charmer

Consider us charmed by Ryan Klewer’s (aka Plant Charmer) brand new headquarters in East Brunswick!
Sasha Gattermayr

Art

The Nomadic Artist Who Is Always Painting On The Road

Emily Imeson lives her life out of a four wheel drive, travelling the country in pursuit of new landscapes to paint! Her solo show, 'Ancient...
Sasha Gattermayr
  11 hours ago

Interiors

The 5 Rules Of Good Kitchen Design, According To Cantilever Interiors

A good kitchen starts with observing these five rules, brought to you by Australian design and manufacturing kitchen brand Cantilever Interi...

Architecture

This Couple's Home Is Two Houses In One!

Coy Yiontis Architects have designed this home with separate areas for a couple who have been living together for 50 years. His and hers goa...

Architecture

A Lean, Clean Renovation To A Grand Heritage Weatherboard

ioa Studio transforms a cavernous Victorian residence into a light, bright contemporary home - and adds an element of surprise!
Sasha Gattermayr

News

Colourful New Kids Books From A Legendary Local Illustrator

Artist Kat MacLeod teaches us our ABCs in this super cute range of books from Thames & Hudson.

News

Art Deco Meets The 1980s In Greg Natale’s New Vase Collection

The Australian interior designer launches his latest vase collection, ‘New Wave.’
Amelia Barnes
  9 hours ago

News

Sit Front Row At The Country To Couture Fashion Show Tonight!

The 2020 runway show featuring an incredible lineup of contemporary First Nations designers will be broadcast via Facebook this Friday (toda...
02:40

Small Business

Our (Free!) Small Business Summer School Is Here!

Got a burning business idea but no idea where to start? Small Business Consultant Fiona Killackey is here to guide you through how to get st...

Creative People

The Best News Story Of 2021, So Far!

We check in on Think Thornbury owners Maggie May and Josh Kelly and their son Remy and get an update on their family!

Studio Visit

A Conversation With Artist And Former Youth Prime Minister (!) Aretha Brown

The 20-year-old Gumbaynggirr woman shares her thoughts on the intersection of community and creativity, how she feels around this time of ye...
Bridget Caldwell-Bright

Homes

Louella Boitel Gill's Loved And Layered Bungalow By The Beach

Interior and furniture designer Louella Boîtel-Gill has turned her former Airbnb in the Northern Rivers into an idyllic family home.

Architecture

A Contemporary Beach House Designed By An Architect For Her Parents

The Bendalong Beach House by Madeleine Blanchfield provided such a serene escape for its owners, it became their full-time residence!

Similar Stories

Art

Meet The Next Generation Of Artists From Maningrida, NT

Young Indigenous artists Kenan Namunjdja and Rosina Gunjarrwanga are celebrated in the MCA's prestigious Primavera 2019 exhibition.

Art

The Winners Of The 2020 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards

The winners of the country's most anticipated award for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists have been announced!

Creative People

A Landmark Collaboration Between Bábbarra Women's Centre x Kip&Co

After two years of development, the Bábbarra Women’s Centre x Kip&Co collaborative collection is finally ready for the world to see!

The Design Files acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files – we would love to hear from you.

Please email us here.