Djakangu (Dorothy) Yunupingu is a Yolngu elder and multi-disciplinary artist based in Yirrkala in the Northern Territory.
Daughter of the late Gumatj leader, activist, and prominent Australian painter Munggurrawuy Yunupingu (c.1905–1979), Djakangu Yunupingu comes from a long lineage of distinguished artists. Among her siblings are the highly celebrated artists known collectively as the ‘Seven Sisters’ including Gulumbu Yunupingu (c. 1945 – 2012), Barrupu Yunupingu (c. 1948 – 2012), Ms Yunupingu (c. 1945 – 2022), Nyapanyapa Yunupingu (c. 1945 – 2021), Dhopiya Yunupingu, Ranydjupi Yunupingu and Djakangu Yunupingu herself.
In 2011 Djakangu Yunupingu worked alongside her sisters to create the famed Seven Sisters Print Series, but it was not until 2021 that she began to paint regularly at Buku-Larrnggay Mulka and quickly developed a unique artistic style of her own. Utilising a limited natural palette Djakangu Yunupingu’s artworks are based on the Djulpan story; the Yolngu poetic Law that relates to the Pleiades constellation, that was passed on to her by her father.
In 2023, having previously represented her sisters Gulumbu Yunupingu (c. 1945 – 2012), Barrupu Yunupingu (c. 1948 – 2012) and Djerrkngu Yunupingu (c. 1945 – 2022), Alcaston Gallery invited Djakangu Yunupingu to present a selection of paintings on bark and larrakitj in her debut solo exhibition entitled Gurmilili – Tears of the Djulpan. Following this highly successful debut exhibition, Djakangu Yunupingu was also invited to present a prominent solo installation at TARNANTHI Festival of Contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art at the Art Gallery of South Australia in Adelaide from 2023 – 2024.
Djakangu Yunupingu has developed into a distinguished painter with precise technique and an exquisite sense of composition. Her paintings on larrakitji, bark, and board stand out not only as the continuation of a powerful family lineage, but her distinctive style and restrained use of colour affirm her standing within the contemporary art context.
© The Artist, Buku-Larrnggay Mulka and Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne 2023