Debra Wurrkidj

Languages:     Kuninjku
From:     Mumeka Community Maningrida : NT
Moiety:     Duwa
Date of birth:1971-03-10
Clan:     Kurulk

Deborah Wurrkidj was born in 1971 at Maningrida in north-central Arnhem Land. Her language is Kuninjku and her moiety is Duwa. Deborah is well known for her fibre weaving, bark painting, woodcarving and printmaking.

Deborah is a versatile artist who has readily adapted to new art forms while retaining strong clan traditions. Her work is tactile and intricate and illustrates the artistic innovation that has occurred in Maningrida over the last 30 years.

Alongside her highly regarded fine art practice Deborah, with her mother, Helen Lanyinwanga, and sister Jennifer Wurrkidj has been working at Bábbarra Designs since 1991. She is a leading textile artist and an integral member of Bábbarra Women’s Centre.

Deborah has exhibited nationally including the 19th Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award in 2002 and is represented in a number of state and private collections.

Her subjects/themes include Mimih Spirit, kun-madj (dilly bag), Yawkyawk, Buluwana at Dilebang, Wak Wak and Ngalyod.



2018 – From Coast to Escarpment: Spirit Worlds of Maningrida, Michael Reid, Sydney, NSW
2018 – Ngaldjorlhbo | Mother of Everything | Mère de Toute Création, IDAIA, Paris, France
2018 – Karrang Kunred: Motherland, Cross Art Projects, Sydney, NSW
2017 – Karridjowkke Kunronj (Crossing Streams), Nomad Art, Darwin, NT
2014 – Barks, Spirit Figures, Lorrkon and Ceremonial Poles, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne, VIC
2010 – Replant: a new generation of botanical art, National touring exhibition, curated by Nomad Arts, Darwin, NT
2009 – Fibre & Rarrk – Marina Murdilnga & Debra Wurrkidj, Vivian Anderson Gallery, Melbourne, VIC
2009 – Sculpture Show, Fireworks Gallery, Brisbane, QLD
2009 – Orche – A Study in Materiality, Short Street Gallery, Broome, WA
2009 – 26th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Awards Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery Northern Territory, Darwin, NT
2009 – Survey from Maningrida Arts & Culture, The Mossenson Gallery, Perth, WA
2009 – Works in Season: Bark Paintings, Carvings & Weavings, Hogarth Galleries, Sydney, NSW
2009 – During the Wet, Hemphill Fine Arts, Washington, USA
2009 – Ancestral Spirit Beings and Ceremonial Lorrkon, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne, VIC
2008 – 25th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Awards Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery Northern Territory, Darwin, NT
2008 – Maningrida Art, Chapman Gallery, Canberra
2008 – Maningrida Arising, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne, VIC
2008 – Recent works from Maningrida, Chapman Gallery, Canberra, ACT
2008 – African Muse, Ecorces recentes de Maningrida, Galerie Luc Bertier, Paris, France
2008 – Weaving around the Traps, Chapman & Bailey, Melbourne, VIC
2008 – Womens show, Vivien Anderson Gallery, Melbourne, VIC
2007 – Spirit in Variation Part II, Annandale Galleries, Sydney, NSW
2007 – Bark Paintings from Maningrida, Short Street Gallery, Broome, WA
2006 – Cross-section – a collection of prints from NTU stockroom, NTU, Darwin, NT
2005 – Paris-Djinkarr-Milmilngkan, Maningrida Arts & Culture, Darwin, NT
2004 – Crossing Country – The alchemy of Western Arnhem Land art, AGNSW, Sydney, NSW
2003 – Weave, Federation Centre for the Arts, Bundoora Homestead, VIC
2003 – Weave, NTU Gallery, Darwin, NT
2002 – Maningrida Fibre, Redback Art Gallery, QLD
2002 – 19th Telstra National & Torres Strait Islander Art Award Exhibition, Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin
2001 – Good Colour : prints from Maningrida Womens Centre, Raft Artspace, Darwin

Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, QLD
Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, SA
Artbank, Sydney, Australia