Yilpirr Wanambi Yolngu, b. 1975

Yilpirr was born in 1975. His father was Guthapuma Wanambi (1940-1982). Guthapuma’s father was Wawit1 (one of Donald Thomson’s NTSRU men). When Wawit died, Guthapuma was sent to live with his other ‘father’ (paternal uncle), Mithili Wanambi (1923-81) at Yirrkala.


In the early 1970's Guthapuma helped Birrikitji Gumana and his sons establish the outstation of Gangan on Blue Mud Bay where he lived until his death in 1982. After this Yilpirr was always cared for by Mithili’s children, Wukun, Boliny and Ralwurrandji who arehis classificatory father and aunts respectively. They are also all prolific and successful artists.


Yilpirr’s mother is Liyamadal#1 Marawili who shares a mother’s mother with Djambawa Marawili. Both their mothers were from the Dhudi-Djapu clan. Yilpirr is Liyamadal ‘s third child but his elder siblings are now deceased. He has a younger sister Banggawuy who isalso a promising young artist.


In 2005, he married Liyamadal #2 Marawili, Djambawa’s daughter. After his brother’s death in 2005, Yilpirr moved from Gangan to Yilpara where his wife is from. This is when he started painting. It is likely that he was influenced in this by his proximity to Djambawa who is a mentor to many young artists.