Art, Culture, Country

Partnering with remote Indigenous Art Centres to deliver a landmark digital project that empowers Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists to create and share unique arts and cultural experiences with the world.


Art, Culture, Country

Partnering with remote Indigenous Art Centres to deliver a landmark digital project that empowers Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists to create and share unique arts and cultural experiences with the world.

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Art Centres

Gapuwiyak Culture & Arts

Gapuwiyak Culture and Arts is a remote Art Centre in east Arnhemland that supports over one hundred artists art arts workers from Gapuwiyak and surrounding homelands.

Gapuwiyak is a small town in the middle of Miyarrka, a region around Arnhem Bay. There are eighteen clans in the region, each with their own interconnected clan estates, songs, patterns and designs.

The Art Centre assists artists to collect and prepare materials, make high-quality art, explore ideas, develop knowledge and skills, exhibit, market and sell their work.

Lot 131 Marrangu St, Gapuwiyak NT 0880

Featured Artists

Born: 1955

Region: Ŋilipitji

Lucy Malirrimurruwuy Wanapuyngu was born at Mainoru cattle station 01 July 1955. Her mother is Rosie Nardin Dhagapan. After living at Mainoru for four years, she moved to Roper River. Lucy was living in Roper for eight years. She was not able to walk and had to hide inside the house after she had an incident in the ceremony ground. Elders adopted Lucy and they looked after her and Balanda (white people) came from Sydney and looked after her too until the special doctor came from Adelaide to make her better. From Roper she moved to Galiwin’ku and got married at Galiwin’ku to Ian Wurruwul then they moved to Gapuwiyak with five children. Lucy also has three grand children. Lucy learnt to weave with some of the women in Gapuwiyak and has travelled around Australia and even the USA to share her culture and show her work.

Born: 1924

Region: Djarrakpi

Paul Maymuru’s father Baluka is a well known artist and who taught him his sacred clan designs. He also follows his grandfather, Narratjin, who was one of the first artists to be recognised by the Australian people. Paul lives in his clan lands at Djarrakpi and his wife’s land at Balma. He knows all about Yolŋu ceremony and will become a leader of the Maŋgalili.

Born: 1978

Region: Naliyindi

Harry Guyibirrirrr’s mother was Florence M. Wananpuyngu a famous weaver from Gapuwiyak. His father was Ian Wulwul Malibirr a well known painter and carver. He lived most of his life in the bush and at Mapuru. Harry lives in Doyndji homeland. He has learnt to paint and craft from his father and older brothers. Harry also work as a ranger looking after Country.

Born: 1970

Region: Naliyindi

Johnny Warrkatja Malibirr’s father is the late Ian Wuluwul Malibirr and his Mother is Lucy Wanapuyngu. He was born in Darwin as their eldest son. As a young boy Johnny spent some time living in Dhupuwamirri. There he watched song man and Wanapuyngu elder Roy Ashleigh and Guyula elder Raymond Marpin to paint on bark. Together with his father, they taught him the stories, the designs and the songs. Since his father has passed away, Johnny will carry the songs and knowledge for the Malibirr clan as well as for the Wanapuyngu clan. He travelled to Canberra in 2000 and performed at the official opening of “Aboriginal Modern Worlds” Exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia.

Born: 1956

Region: Ŋilipitji

Ngadiyali (Russell) Wanapuyngu lives in Gapuwiyak Community with his sister Lucy and her family. Their dreaming is the Wagilak Sisters and he often paints this story. Ngadiyali’s homeland is Ngilipitji. Djardi Ashley the famous painter is his elder brother. He used to sit with his older brother, Djardi who used to tell the stories. Djardi taught Ngadiyali first for ceremony before he taught the Gamanungu (sacred clan designs). When Ngadiyali was very young his uncle would sing and Ngadiyali would play Yidaki on a hose. His uncle then gave him a real Yidaki and said: “Can you play for me?”. Now Ngadiyali knows the stories for many tribes. Ngilipitji is an important place. Ngadiyali can paint the designs for this place, like Larr the stone spear head. He also paints Yarrpany, the Dhuwa guku (honey). Ngadiyali is a ceremony man and sings the songlines for Gandjalala – the creator ancestor for Wagilak. He says: “When there are any Dhuwa ceremonies I will be there.”

Born: 1955

Region: Gapuwiyak

Mavis Djulibing Marrkula was born on the 4 June 1955 in Arnhemland. Her language is Gupapuyngu. She is from the Marrkula clan. Her mother taught her how to weave. Mavis is a traditional land owner of Gapuwiyak. She likes going out collecting pandanus and dyes. She also likes to collect bush foods like yams, wild potatoes and other bush foods. Mavis likes to go out with her friends, like Lesley Wininingu and Helen Djaypila. She loves weaving baskets and mats and can also make string bags.

Born: 1987

Region: Naliyindi

Anna Ramatha Malibirr was born in Gapuwiyak where the old hospital used to be and went to school until she was 17 years old. Her mother is Lucy Malirrimurruwuy Wanapuyngu and her father is Ian Wurruwul Malibirr. Anita’s subsection is Yirritja and her skin name is Gutjan. Nancy and Lucy taught her how to weave baskets when she came to Gapuwiyak. She weaves baskets, mats and string bags and also collects seeds to make necklaces. Anita is mother to one boy, who was born in 2005.

Born: 1952

Region: Birritjawuy

Mary Rruwaypi Guyula’s mother is Burrayburray Guyamirrilil and Djukamawuy Guyula is her father. Her sisters, Helen Djaypila, and Wininingu and Dorothy are all well known fibre artists as well. Their mother was their teacher.

Born: 1983

Region: Bapawuyuŋumi

Marcia grew up at Mapuru homeland. She sat with her grandmothers at Mapuru and they were her teachers for fibre art. Marcia sold her first baskets when she was about 20 years old. After that she made bulpu (dilly bags) and mats and handbags. Marcia likes doing all sorts of fibre art.

A Project by Agency

UPLANDS is an immersive digital project that has been designed to celebrate Indigenous Art Centres and share Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artistic and cultural practices with the world.

This large scale immersive digital mapping project features over twenty remote Indigenous Art Centres, and interviews with over 150 Indigenous artists and arts workers from across the country.

UPLANDS is a project by Agency and has been funded by the Australian Government through the Restart to Invest, Sustain and Expand (RISE) program and the Indigenous Visual Art Industry Support (IVAIS) program.




Principal Partner

Government Partners

Project Partners

Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners and Sovereign Custodians of the land on which we live and work. We extend our respects to their Ancestors and all First Nations peoples and Elders past, present, and future.