The Morning Star Painter: Artist camp

The Morning Star Painter: Artist camp
WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the following program may contain images and/or audio of deceased persons
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Jack Wunuwun grinds the red ochre and applies the paint to his bark painting about the Morning Star. Summary by Liz McNiven.

Jack Wunuwun grinds his colours for painting the Morning Star story. Traditional sources of colour include white clay, charcoal and red and yellow ochre. Narrator David Gulpilil explains the cultural significance of the painting.

The clip also shows the location where the artist lives and the place he sits to paint, giving an insight into the cultural and creative lifestyle of the artist.


The Morning Star Painter synopsis

This short film narrated by David Gulpilil documents the production of a bark painting by the highly acclaimed artist Djiwul (Jack) Wunuwun in his homeland community of Gamedi near Maningrida in Arnhem Land.


The Morning Star Painter curator's notes

This short film by Curtis Levy records the creation of an artistic masterpiece, the Banubirr (Morning Star) series of paintings by the legendary painter, Jack Wunuwun.

It highlights the importance of the arts industry to the social, cultural and economic lives of Arnhem Land artists, craftspeople and their families. Making and selling art also supports the continuity of the peoples’ cultural traditions and lifestyle.

The film presents the process of making a bark painting and the significance of the story painted on the bark, within the religious life of the artist and his peoples. It shows Wunuwun harvesting and treating the bark in preparation for painting; preparing clay, charcoal and ochre paints; and, most importantly, performing the appropriate songs and dances to accompany the creation of a visual representation of the Morning Star story.

Wunuwun is a nationally and internationally collected artist. Morning Star Painter screened at the 1980 Melbourne International Film Festival.

Notes by Liz McNiven

Production company:
Curtis Levy Productions
Curtis Levy
Curtis Levy
Dick Bandilil, David Gulpilil
Produced with the assistance of the Australia Council for the Arts