Buku-Larrngay Mulka is one of Australia’s most dynamic and vibrant Aboriginal Art Centres. It is located in the Aboriginal community of Yirrkala on the coast of Northeast Arnhem Land at the very top of Australia, about 700km east of Darwin.
‘Buku-Larrŋgay’ in Yolŋu language means “the feeling on your face as it is struck by the first rays of the sun”. ‘Mulka’ is a sacred but public ceremony.
The region is tropical and has Australia’s highest frequency of lightning strikes; during the wet season as many as 880 strikes have been recorded in a single weekend.
The Art Centre itself was established in 1975 and supports the people of Yirrkala as well as more than 20 homelands in the region.
Artists working at Buku-Larrngay Mulka, including Nyapanyapa Yunupingu and Nonggirrnga Marawili, are especially well known for their bark painting and memorial poles – ‘Larrakitj’ – made from hollow Stringybark logs (Eucalyptus tetradonta).