Born: 10-07-1974 Skin name: Nakangila Language: Kunwinjku Clan: Kardbam From: Mankorlod Outstation or Country: Marrkolidjban Community: Gunbalanya [Oenpelli]: NT Social Affiliations: Yirridjdja moiety, Bulanj subsection
Ngalyod – Rainbow Serpent, Ngurrurdu – Emu, Yawkyawk spirit, Mimih spirit, Nayuhyungki bininj – Ancient People, Namorrorddo spirit; Wind Dreaming (Kunkurra Djang) Kalawan (Goanna) Korlobarr (Kangaroo) Ngalkordow (Brolga) Mandjabu (Fish Trap) Lorrkon (Hollow log coffin)
Ochres on Arches paper, bark painting, ochres on bark, Hollow log coffin, Mimi Carvings.
2007 Ochre Paintings from Western Arnhem Land, Batchelor Institute Coomalie, NT
2006 Namundja Brothers, Bandigan Art, Sydney, NSW
Dept. of Foreign Affairs & Trade, Canberra, ACT
In 1999, Johnson’s art was selected by Australian Post as the cover artwork for a national indigenous employment strategy.
1994 Kunwinjku Seasons Calendar. Published by Injalak Arts & Crafts Association., 1994
Johnson was taught to paint by his father, the late Peter Maralwanga (deceased, 1987), famous bark painter, whose works hang in major art galleries and museums. An entire exhibition of Peter’s work held in Perth some years ago was bought out by the late private collector Robert Holmes a’ Court. Maralwanga taught his sons to paint, including Ivan Namirriki and his two very famous brothers, Glen Numundja and Samuel Numundja and Johnson Numundja as well as his nephews including James Iyuna (deceased) and his brother, world renowned artist, John Mawundjul when the family lived at an isolated outstation called Marrkolidjpan, between Oenpelli and Maningrida. Later the nephews moved further towards Maningrida, but Ivan remained as guardian of the vast traditional lands he has now inherited. He is also the ceremonial leader of his clan, and the keeper of all the myths telling of the history and religion of the Kunwinjku tribe. Ivan is now regarded as one of the foremost artists of the Kunwinjku tribe.
Johnson’s older brother, Ivan Namarriki also helped in teaching him to paint when he was growing up at Markolidjban outstation after his father passed away. Johnson is now an acclaimed and sought-after artist in his own right who paints the complex designs of crosshatching, (rarrk), appearing on the bodies of the creatures he depicts, using the brilliant colours which belong to the clan. The ochres are found in secret deposits in the ground, the white colour comes from a clay site in the bush, and black is charcoal from camp fires. His all-over rarrk (crosshatched) works often feature distinctive black outlines, which separates the figures and gives them an almost monumental presence like a stained-glass window.