Manwak Woven Cushion
ABOUT THE ARTWORK: Manwak, 2017 ©Deborah Wurrkidj / Licensed by Copyright Agency These images are not to be reproduced without the approval of the licensor. This incredible artwork depicts the Manwak flower which grows near Mumeka creek, on Deborah’s homeland. The beautiful large flower blooms during the mandjewk (wet season). It has deep green petals with a central red kernel that swells to the size of a berry. It is known for its long, sweeping petals which seem to dance in the winds. By dry season, the inside kernel resembles a strawberry in appearance and flavour but is also very spicy so it burns our mouth. Kids and adults pick these berries enthusiastically when walking or going hunting in my country. The inside of the flowers are eaten fresh, a favourite manme (bush food) of Kuninjku people. “When I was painting this Manwak story, I was painting in Maningrida. In my head I was dreaming of being on my homeland, eating ripe Manwak berries.”
ABOUT THE ARTIST: Deborah Wurrkidj is a Kuninjku artist from the Kurulk clan whose country lies around the outstation of Mumeka in central Arnhem Land. She is an accomplished artist working across mediums including painting, sculpture, weaving and textile design. Deborah is world-renowned for her bark painting, lorrkkon (hollow logs), and fibre baskets. She has exhibited widely since 2001, throughout Australia as well as in Europe and the United States. She is represented in most of Australia’s state gallery collections. Her ancestor spirits are Dadbe (King brown snake), Djimarr (Black crow), and Buluwana (woman spirit).