Mulkuṉ Wirrpanda and John Wolseley are giants in their field, and their friendship has spanned a decade – in 2009, Mulkuṉ adopted Wolsley as her wawa (brother). Every year, the two meet during the harvest season – miḏawarr – to share their obsession with useful (and delicious) plants. Together, they collect, paint and illustrate edible plants.
Miḏawarr: Harvest documents both their relationship and a place – it’s a kind of three-dimensional rendering of north-east Arnhem Land. The show also features a vast panoramic scroll painting (10 metres by 2.1 metres) of a floodplain which complements Wirrpanda’s 60 paintings and memorial poles showcasing intricately detailed Yolŋu plants.
But Miḏawarr: Harvest isn’t merely an exhibition – it’s also an important vehicle for the transmission of real-world knowledge and Indigenous traditions. Wirrpanda is a passionate advocate for educating the younger generation about flora. The show challenges viewers to think about the way we use, connect with, value and understand our environment.
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