Born : 1959
Language : Kuninjku
Moiety : Duwa
Country : Mumeka
About the Artist : James Iyana of the Duwa moiety paint on bark and carve the myths and legends associated with the mimih spirits. James Iyuna is the son of the renowned fish trap maker, Anchor Kalunba, and learned to weave with jungle vine to make traps and nets when he was young.
James and his three brothers had very little Western education because of the difficulty of getting to schools at Oenpelli or Maningrida, the nearest townships in Arnhem Land, from their home at the Mumeka outstation, where he and his wife still live today. Instead, he learnt the traditional art and culture of his Kunwinjku clan from his uncle, acclaimed bark painter Peter Marralwanga.
James regularly exhibits interstate and overseas and in 2006 James and his wife Melba Gunjarrwanga were commissioned to create a public art project for the Darwin Entertainment Centre in 2006. They are making a ceiling structure for the 240-square-meter verandah area, inspired by traditional fish net fences and constructed out of copper wire. They have drawn on their skills as weavers to design and construct the installation, which they began working on in January 2007.
Pregnant Buluwana at Dilebang
Natural pigments on bark
188 x 73 cm
This painting depicts Buluwana superimposed on the background of crosshatching with her kun-madj (dilly bag) and digging stick. She is depicted at a site called Dilebang, which is regarded as one of the most dangerous and sacred of sites in the Kun-Kurulk clan estate. The billabong at Dilebang is near escarpment country rich in rock art and with a high concentration of sacred sites.