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Jack Wunuwun Aboriginal Art

Jack Wunuwun was an indigenous Australian artist working in the 1970s and 1980s. His later works have a European influence and can be quite collectible.

He is best known from Curtis Levy’s documentary the Morning Star painter.

If you have a Wunuwun bark painting or sculpture and want to know how much it is worth or sell it please feel free to contact me.

Biography Jack Wunuwun

Jack Wunuwun was born around 1930 at Gamardi outstation in Central Arnhem Land. He belonged to the Gangarl clan of the Murrungun people of the Dhuwa moiety. His creator spirits are the Sisters, the Morning Star, Shark spirits, and fish trap.

As a child, Wunuwun moved with his parents to the Methodist mission on Milingimbi Island. It was here that he grew up until the start of WWII. During the war, he lived in Darwin. He found employment as a cook’s assistant in an Australian Army camp.

After the war, he relocated to the settlement of Maningrida. It was in Maningrida in the early 1960s that Wunuwun began to make art, including sculptures and paintings.

Around 1968 with his brother-in-law Johnny Bulunbulun, Wunuwun moved to Gamedi on the eastern bank of the Blyth River.

In 1978–1979 Wunuwun joined the Aboriginal Arts Board of the Australia Council. In 1980 Jack was in the film by Curtis Levy’s called the Morning Star painter. Jack died in 1990

Art style

Jack Wunuwun may have made and painted some human-sized sculptures while in Maningrida. His art though was mainly focused on the creation of bark paintings.

Early Wunuwun bark paintings are in a traditional Milingimbi style. There are not enough of his bark paintings available to describe his early style. His later works are strongly influenced by European art. He introduced perspective to his work departs from his painting traditions. Several of his paintings depict morning star poles but unlike Binyinyuwuy they are more abstract representations.

Wunuwun like Yirawala viewed art as a means to achieve reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. This underlying philosophy is inherently reflected in his art.

Other Aboriginal Art and Artists

All images in this article are for educational purposes only.

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Jack Wunuwun artwork Images

The following images are of the Artwork of Jack Wunuwun. It is not a complete list of his works. They do however give a good idea of the style and above all the variety of this Aboriginal Artist.

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