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No Vacancy Project Space


7 June 2016 - 19 June 2016 | Tuesday - Saturday | 11am - 5pm | Sundays | 12pm - 5pm
Closed Monday
Thursday 9 June | 6pm - 9pm
Opening Night Event




Nawurapu Wunungmurra: Mokuy

See the first site-specific iteration of Nawurapu Wunungmurra’s 2010 Telstra award-winning work, Mokuy, at No Vacancy Project Space.

“The Mokuy or Nanuk (spirits) come in together, Dhuwa and Yirritja to the sacred ground called Balambala, past Gangan, the other side for all the Mokuy to get together. (For ceremony)” – Nawurapu Wunungmurra

There are ‘renewal’ ceremonies in Yolngu law irregularly when the time is right, that are independent of the funeral, circumcision and age grading ceremonies that occur all the time. They are held at specific natural clearings within the extensive Stringybark forests that cover most of Arnhem land. When these ceremonial exchanges are conducted by mortals during the day, the Mokuy spirits conduct their own rituals at night. Indeed, their nocturnal activities are often audible in the main camp during such gatherings. It seems as if a ceremony to renew relationships between different Yirritja and Dhuwa moiety clans is a necessary part of the Mokuy’s farewell to this dimension.

Nawurapu Wunungmurra’s piece, Mokuy, incorporates carved and painted wooden figures representing the Mokuy spirits, along with recovered footage from the 1920s, unearthed from the University of Melbourne Archives in 2009. Dhalwangu clan members identified their choreography and relatives in the black and white footage marked ‘unknown’ nearly a century after the recording of Nawurapu clan’s dance was inscribed on film.

In 2010, the original work using combined sculpture and video was the winner of the inaugural Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award New Media and People’s Choice prize in 2010.

The themes of projection and illumination have been incorporated into this work as part of Fed Square’s The Light in Winter festival.

Opening Night: Thursday 9 June, 6pm – 9pm


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