Dhuŋguruk, Butjuwutju/Mona and Djitama - edible tubers of East Arnhem Land
woodcut from King Billy Pine and watercolour on paper
H 118 x L 260 cm
Image courtesy of the artist
Currently on display in Essays on Earth, a collaborative exhibition between multidisciplinary artist Brodie Ellis, painter and printmaker John Wolseley and poet Paul Kane, uniting the work of three leading artists of the Bendigo region.
"For this work, I have tried to make my own distillations of the idea of Gaia. In Dunguruk, Butjuwutju/Mona this has taken the form of several plants and their yams and tubers engraved into a woodblock matrix of King Billy Pine.
The Dioscorea transversa yam was named after Dioscorides, the first herbalist and father of pharmacy. The yams rest within the pine grain, and as I engrave them they seem to be like little earths – underground miniature aquifers of carbohydrate. Within them I found tunnels of beetle grubs - langurrk, eating the yams from the inside out. Langurrk being the name which Mulkun my Yapa (sister) had given me." – John Wolseley
"The leaves are thin and long and stand up in bunches of four or five. The food is long and made up of cylinder-like bunches that are dug up or pulled out. It is then pounded by clapsticks to make soft for eating." – Mulkun Wirrpanda