July 15, 2016
Art galleries have been snapping up the work of Aurukun’s Wik and Kugu Art Centre artists at the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF).
Aurukun Mayor Dereck Walpo congratulated the artists on their success at the prestigious Indigenous art fair which attracts buyers keen to secure Australian Indigenous art.
“More than 50,000 people visit CIAF and the work of our Wik and Kugu artists gives this diverse audience an insight into the rich culture of our community in Cape York,” he said.
“Most of the sculptures by the Namponan brothers – Garry, Leigh, Bevan and Lex – as well as those by David Marpoondin, Vernon Marbendinar, Bruce Bell and Kenneth Bruce Wolmby have been sold.
“Orders are already coming in, especially for more of the famous Ku’ or camp dog and the Minh Nguk or owl, so our artists will be kept busy for some time yet.”
The Namponan brothers are attending CIAF under the guidance of carver Uncle Roderick Yunkaporta.
Garry Namponan has been carving Ku’ for more than a decade after being taught by his father Angus who also did bark painting.
Garry’s work has long been in demand at exhibitions around the country and he is proud that his younger brothers are following his artistic pursuit.
Leigh Namponan carved the largest Ku’, called Brutus, which is based on one of his dogs at home.
“I mostly carve camp dogs because they are my totem and my grandmother’s totem,” he said.
New to CIAF this year are Garry’s ochre and acrylic paintings, which feature the Ku’ markings.
“It is a technique I worked on especially for CIAF and uses body painting designs,” he said.
Garry’s paintings and camp dogs also feature at KickArts in Cairns with the exhibition Pich – pichan opening at the gallery on July 14.
IMAGE: Wik and Kigu Art Centre artists (from left) Garry Namponan, Leigh Namponan, Bevan Namponan, Roderick Yunkaporta and Lex Namponan are the creators of the famous Ku’ camp dog sculptures of Aurukun that are being snapped up at the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair.