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Damien and Yilpi Marks

DOB: Damien, 10 July 1967, and Yilpi, 7 November 1969

BORN: Damien, Haasts Bluff, and Yilpi, Ernabella

Damien and Yilpi are a husband-and-wife team who often paint collaboratively as well as individually. In their collaborations, they share the stories of their Country, particularly Damien’s homeland near Papunya. They tell both the women’s and men’s Dreaming stories, employing not only traditional iconography and dot work to represent sacred sites of immense cultural significance, but also a palette of vibrant and bold colours.

While some aspects of their creations suggest the instantly recognisable style of the Central Desert, there is an arresting energy in their works that generates a strikingly modern aesthetic. Reds, oranges and browns are built up in certain areas, often in contrast to areas of blues, greens and bright yellows, and then to areas of stark black and white. The overall effect creates vibrant movement across the canvas, amplified and accentuated by their choices of strong contrasting colours, and the dramatic shapes within their landscapes.

Damien Marks Jangala was born at Haasts Bluff, and later moved to Papunya with his family. His mentors were Clifford Possum, Billy Stockman and Uta Uta Jangala, who taught him Dreaming stories at an early age. Damien is now a highly respected Ngurratjuta artist.


Yilpi Marks Atira was taught the Dreaming stories by her parents and grandparents. Her mother, Tjulkiwa Atira-Atira, and her father, Michael Atira-Atira (deceased), were both talented artists and are represented in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia and the State Gallery of South Australia.


Title: Hailstorm Dreaming

Artist: Damien and Yilpi Marks

Acrylic on linen

Painted: 2016

Size: 237cm x 182cm approximately

Catalogue number: AMAG/DYMK182/16

Price: POA

Provenance: Aboriginal and Modern Art Gallery of Australia (AMAGOA) > Private Collection

Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

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