Territory Stories

Arts backbone



Arts backbone


Association of the Northern, Kimberley and Arnhem Aboriginal Artists


Arts backbone; E-Journals; PublicationNT; Arts backbone






This publication contains many links to external sites. These external sites may no longer be active.; Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).




Association of The Northern, Kimberley and Arnhem Aboriginal Artists; Arnhem, Northern and Kimberley Artists Aboriginal Corporation; Art, Australian; Aboriginal Australians; Aboriginal Artists; Periodicals

Publisher name

Association of the Northern, Kimberley and Arnhem Aboriginal Artists

Place of publication



Arts backbone


volume 14 issue 1, August 2014

File type




Copyright owner

Association of the Northern, Kimberley and Arnhem Aboriginal Artists



Parent handle


Citation address


Page content

On March 14 the Miyarrka Media team from Gapuwiyak celebrated the opening of their phone media exhibition in Brisbane. This unique and playful show highlights the creative energy unleashed by mobile phones, featuring a range of video and photographs made by Yolngu families as well as a selection of films made especially for the exhibition, including the new Miyarrka documentary Ringtone. Structured according to Yolngu poetics of call-and-response, the exhibition takes motif and meaning from the actions of an ancestral Mokuy (trickster spirit) who lives in the stringybark forests of Arnhem Land. In ancestral times this Mokuy signaled other clans with his dhadalal (a special didgeridoo) sensuously establishing enduring and ritually significant relationships between places and people across the region. The sound of the dhadalal becoming a way to gather all the clansdhuwa and yirritja moietiestogether for certain large public ceremonies. As Miyarrka Medias Paul Gurrumuruwuy describes, Its a sound everyone can hear. It reaches the ears and the mind, so everyone, all the clans, will move in and join together. In this exhibition, gallery visitors are greeted by this special dhadalal calla call which as it resonates in Gapuwiyak Calling Phone-made Media from Arnhem Land University of Queensland Anthropology Museum, March - August 2014 By Dr Jennifer Deger, The Cairns Institute the space together with the sound of ringing phones, gestures to the possibility of new kinds of digitally mediated relationships both within and beyond Arnhem Land. Much of the content is deliberately playful, incorporating ostensibly foreign sound and image elements accessed via the internet connection on their phones. The exhibition is an opportunity to assert enduring and meaningful connections between generations of Yolngu kin living through times of enormous social stress and change. Gurrumuruwuy says that these new technologies open up exciting new possibilities for Yolngu art, especially for younger, digital-savvy generations. He sees the camera as a way for Yolngu to show their identities and strengthen their culture. On the video screen you can see Yolngu identity through the bodies. The blood, the bones, the sacred designstheyre all there, but on the inside. The exhibition was auspiced by Gapuwiyak Culture and Arts. All images: Gapuwiyak Calling exhibition at University of Queensland Anthropology Museum (UQAM) All photos: UQAM We decided to name our exhibition Gapuwiyak Calling because were calling you through our phones, calling so you can connect to us. Were grabbing hold of new possibilities using these little things. Maybe youll answer us? Paul Gurrumuruwuy 4 Arts BackBone eXHIBITIonS Volume 14: Issue 1, August 2014 Volume 14: Issue 1, August 2014 eXHIBITIonS Arts BackBone 5

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this website may contain the names, voices and images of people who have died, as well as other culturally sensitive content. Please be aware that some collection items may use outdated phrases or words which reflect the attitude of the creator at the time, and are now considered offensive.

We use temporary cookies on this site to provide functionality.
By continuing to use this site without changing your settings, you consent to our use of cookies.