GAN'YU (STARS), 2004

Part 2: Important Aboriginal Art
27 November 2013


(c.1945 - 2012)
GAN'YU (STARS), 2004

natural earth pigments on hollow log

240.0 cm height

$12,000 - 16,000
Sold for $13,200 (inc. BP) in Auction 32 - 27 November 2013, Melbourne

Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Arts, Yirrkala (cat. 2604O)
Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne
Private collection, Melbourne

Catalogue text

This work is accompanied by biographical information from Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne, and a certificate of authenticity from Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Arts which states in part: 'Gulumbu explained that some stars (gan'yu) are special for Yolngu. This painting refers to but does not specify two 'dreamtime' stories which each represent different constellations, that the artist was told by her father when she was a child 'The first story is about two sisters called Guthayguthay and Nhayay. Guthayguthay is the elder sister and sits at the biggest fire' Nhayay who is the younger sister has a smaller fire. In the olden days these two sisters used to be people, but they turned into stars that sit under the Milky Way. The second story is about seven sisters who went out in their canoe called Djulpan. During certain seasons they go hunting for food and always come back with different types of food. They come back with turtle, fish, freshwater snakes and also bush foods like yams and berries. They can be seen in the night sky, seven stars that come out together' When she looks at the stars, Gulumbu thinks about the universe, all around, and about every tribe, every colour. In every corner of the world people can look up and see the stars. This is Gulumbu's vision - in her art, she focuses on the link between all people everywhere.'

This work was created for the artist's first solo show at Alcaston Gallery immediately after her win in the Telstra Award in 2004.