Damien Marks & Yilpi Marks
Damien & Yilpi Marks - Husband and wife duo use major iconography of the Central Desert to tell stories of their homelands.
Who are Damien Marks and Yilpi Marks?
Damien and Yilpi Marks are artists from the Northern Territory. Damien Marks was born in Haasts Bluffin 1967. He later moved to Papunya with his family. He was taught to paint dreamtime stories at an early age by highly acclaimed artists Clifford Possum, Billy Stockman and Uta Uta. Damien is now a respected artist and is married to highly talented artist Yilpi Marks.
Yilpi was born in Ernabella in 1969. She was taught the dreamtime stories by her grandparents and her parents. Her mother Tjulkiwa Atira-Atira and her father Nyukana Baker (deceased), both very talented artists, have artworks held by the State Gallery of South Australia.
The paintings of Damien Marks and Yilpi Marks cross into new areas of contemporary Aboriginal art. The iconography is inherited from some of the major Aboriginal art figures of the Central Desert movement.
What do Damien and Yilpi Marks paint about?
The compositions of paintings by Damien Marks and Yilpi Marks become more organic, bringing in references to the country and place – ranges and hills, watercourses, rocky ground, flood areas, grass lands and areas for gathering bush tucker. The palette of colour is highly intense, bringing out the contrasts between these various segments of the country.
Reds, oranges and browns are built up in certain areas, often to be contrasted to areas of blues, greens and bright yellows, and then to areas of black and white. The whole effect is to create vibrant movement across the canvas, amplified by strong colour contrasts and dramatic shapes.
While some aspects of these paintings suggest the traditional painting style of Central Australia, there is enough urgent energy in these works to say that the style has an edge of the modern.
Viewers often see the jangling colour placements and hectic energy as the first impressions received, before all the visual elements come together.
The paintings of this team, Damien Marks and Yilpi Marks, have the potential to open up new avenues for their generation of Aboriginal artists.
Aboriginal Art Status
2012 Heirs and Successors, Japingka Gallery
2017 Damien and Yilpi Marks, Japingka Gallery
2019 the colourists | defining tradition, Sydney
2020 Colours of Spring, Sydney
2021 Sounds of Summer 2, Japingka Gallery