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

News

The TDF ‘ALL THE THINGS’ 500k Giveaway!

Help us celebrate half a million (!) Insta followers with epic prize packs for three lucky readers! 

Interiors

A Glam ’60s-Inspired Makeover For A Drab Suburban Home

Kaiko Design transform a forgettable suburban space into a ritzy family residence, with big personality!

Architecture

Everything You Need To Know About Working With An Architect

Four of Australia's best architects answer your frequently asked questions, from what an architect does, to how much they cost!

Architecture

A Modernist-Inspired Seaside Home

This adaptable, Victorian seaside home designed by Nest Architects and Placement blurs the line between modernism and contemporary design. ...
51:47

Podcast

Country Road’s Managing Director On The Stickiness Of Sustainable Fashion, On TDF Talks

In this podcast conversation, Elle Roseby talks leading one of the country’s most iconic brands through a new age in the fashion industry....

Interiors

A Colour-Drenched, 'Grandmillennial' Home In North Sydney

Bold colour, and both English and Moroccan influences come together in this North Sydney home by Lisa Burdus.

Homes

A Designer’s 1970s Bells Beach Dream Home!

The incredible eclectic home of interior designer Léo Terrando and Jessica Watts, on Victoria's surf coast.

News

Get Luxe Designer Furniture For Up To 15% Off!

Designer furniture retailer DOMO is discounting in-stock and custom items from HC28 + HC28 Cosmopolitan.
Sponsored

Studio Visit

Two Best Friends' Lockdown Hobby Turned Cult Candle Business

Creative entrepreneurs Ruby Kannava and Emma Cutri pooled their respective small business knowledge to found Blazed Wax - a colourful, cult-...

On The Market

A Light + Bright Beachside Home Hits The Market

This property in Sunrise Beach, Noosa is a full time home that feels like a holiday home - and it’s ready for new inhabitants!

Interiors

A Joyful Home, Full Of Whimsy + Glamour

Scalloped edges and vibrant colours have elevated this Sydney terrace by Arent&Pyke.
Amelia Barnes
  4 hours ago

Gardens

A WOW-Factor 'Secret Garden' In Blairgowrie

Ian Barker Gardens creates a private outdoor sanctuary on the Mornington Peninsula.

Interiors

Get The Look: Dark + Moody Bathrooms And Kitchens

All the product and styling advice you need to achieve the dark, moody bathrooms and kitchen interiors trend, brought to you Oliveri.

News

Shop These Plush Woollen Rugs And Get A Special TDF Discount!

Carpet Court’s customisable rug range is made with 100% New Zealand wool and can be cut to suit the size, shape and colour of your interio...
Sponsored

TDF Design Awards

The Sensational Interior Design Finalists In The TDF + Laminex Design Awards 2021!

The 12 incredible residential projects in the running to win the Interior Design award at the TDF + Laminex Design Awards 2021, presented by...

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

TDF Design Awards

The Sensational Interior Design Finalists In The TDF + Laminex Design Awards 2021!

The 12 incredible residential projects in the running to win the Interior Design award at the TDF + Laminex Design Awards 2021, presented by...

News

The TDF ‘ALL THE THINGS’ 500k Giveaway!

Help us celebrate half a million (!) Insta followers with epic prize packs for three lucky readers! 

On The Market

A Light + Bright Beachside Home Hits The Market

This property in Sunrise Beach, Noosa is a full time home that feels like a holiday home - and it’s ready for new inhabitants!

Architecture

Everything You Need To Know About Working With An Architect

Four of Australia's best architects answer your frequently asked questions, from what an architect does, to how much they cost!

Interiors

A Colour-Drenched, 'Grandmillennial' Home In North Sydney

Bold colour, and both English and Moroccan influences come together in this North Sydney home by Lisa Burdus.

Interiors

A Joyful Home, Full Of Whimsy + Glamour

Scalloped edges and vibrant colours have elevated this Sydney terrace by Arent&Pyke.
Amelia Barnes
  4 hours ago

Interiors

A Glam ’60s-Inspired Makeover For A Drab Suburban Home

Kaiko Design transform a forgettable suburban space into a ritzy family residence, with big personality!

Studio Visit

Two Best Friends' Lockdown Hobby Turned Cult Candle Business

Creative entrepreneurs Ruby Kannava and Emma Cutri pooled their respective small business knowledge to found Blazed Wax - a colourful, cult-...

Homes

A Designer’s 1970s Bells Beach Dream Home!

The incredible eclectic home of interior designer Léo Terrando and Jessica Watts, on Victoria's surf coast.

Interiors

Get The Look: Dark + Moody Bathrooms And Kitchens

All the product and styling advice you need to achieve the dark, moody bathrooms and kitchen interiors trend, brought to you Oliveri.

Gardens

A WOW-Factor 'Secret Garden' In Blairgowrie

Ian Barker Gardens creates a private outdoor sanctuary on the Mornington Peninsula.

News

Shop These Plush Woollen Rugs And Get A Special TDF Discount!

Carpet Court’s customisable rug range is made with 100% New Zealand wool and can be cut to suit the size, shape and colour of your interio...
Sponsored

Architecture

A Modernist-Inspired Seaside Home

This adaptable, Victorian seaside home designed by Nest Architects and Placement blurs the line between modernism and contemporary design. ...
51:47

Podcast

Country Road’s Managing Director On The Stickiness Of Sustainable Fashion, On TDF Talks

In this podcast conversation, Elle Roseby talks leading one of the country’s most iconic brands through a new age in the fashion industry....

News

Get Luxe Designer Furniture For Up To 15% Off!

Designer furniture retailer DOMO is discounting in-stock and custom items from HC28 + HC28 Cosmopolitan.
Sponsored

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.