Dhambit Mununggurr was born in 1968 into a talented Yolngu family, with both her parents having won first prize in the prestigious Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Awards. Her father, the late Mutitjpuy Mununggurr (1932-1993) was one of the finest Djapu clan artists, and he was one of the members of the Dhuwa moiety who contributed to the Yirrkala Church Panels.
Dhambit’s mother, the late Gulumbu Yunupingu (1945–2012), won the award in 2004 with Garak, her representation of the universe, and she has been involved in numerous exhibitions in Australia and internationally.
Dhambit’s late brother together with her uncle Mandaway Yunupingu were amongst the founders of the Yolngu music group Yothu Yindi. Her brother was a world renowned Yidaki (didgeridoo) master. Dhambit’s son Gapanbulu Yunupingu is now a Yidaki player in the Yothu Yindi group, and has recently stepped up to take his uncle’s role as lead singer at various concerts, and is also a member of the Black Arm Band.
In 2004, Dhambit Mununggurr was the first Yolgnu woman to graduate as a tour guide of her country in Yirrkala, and from a young age she had aspirations to follow in her father footsteps as an artist. Her appreciation for the natural landscape including local flora and fauna is evident in her artistic practice, using acrylic on bark painted with a Marwat (traditional Yolngu hair brush).
Tragically hit by a truck in 2005, Dhambit was left wheelchair-bound with a serious injury. Through a combination of traditional healing and Western medicine, her condition slowly improved and she started to paint again in 2010, as well as having started an intensive rehabilitation program in January 2011 at Epworth Rehabilitation in Melbourne, with her goal being to one day walk again.
In 2011, Dhambit Mununggurr had her first solo exhibition at Alcaston Gallery, entitled Mirdawarr Dhulan. The exhibition name, Mirdawarr Dhulan, came from Dhambit’s experience driving through the remnants of the forest around King Lake with her partner Tony, where they noticed the green shoots sprouting from the old burned trees. Mirdawarr refers to ‘the land after fire’ and ‘the re-growth after fire’.
In 2015 Alcaston Gallery was honoured to present GAYBADA – My Father Was an Artist, a curated selection of vibrant bark paintings and larrakitj inspired by Dhambit’s father, the driving force behind her art.
Dhambit Mununggurr was a finalist in the 2016 Redlands Konica Minolta Art Prize for Emerging Artists, an award that recognises exciting developments in Contemporary Art in Australia.
In 2016, Alcaston Gallery presented new works by Dhambit Mununggurr in the group exhibition Provenance Does Matter – Living with Contemporary Art at Gallery 369, Bendigo.
2011 Mirdawarr Dhulan, Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
2015 Gaybada – My Father was an Artist, Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
2016 Provenance Does Matter – Living with Contemporary Art, Alcaston Gallery @ Gallery 369, Bendigo, Vicotira, Australia
2016 Finalist, Redlands Konica Minolta Art Prize for Emerging Artists