• Mural of David Gulpilil painted on the Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute building in Adelaide. (NITV News: Douglas Smith)Source: NITV News: Douglas Smith
The artwork celebrates the legendary Yolŋu actor and depicts four stages of his life, from his film 'Walkabout' to recent on-screen performances.
Douglas Smith

7 Jun 2021 - 12:19 PM  UPDATED 10 Jun 2021 - 6:51 PM

A street mural of Yolŋu actor David Gulpilil was launched at the Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute in Adelaide over the weekend.

The four piece mural was commissioned by ABCG Film in collaboration with Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute, and supported by Arts South Australia and Screen Australia  to celebrate the life and career of Gulpilil.

Local Ngarrindjeri artist Thom Readett painted four depictions of Gulpilil from his youth to now, showing him from his film Walkabout to some of his most recent on screen performances.

“I think it's an important thing for not just Aboriginal people but for all people to learn more about his legacy and learn more about his films but also,” Mr Readett told NITV News. 

“What I really wanted to do was reflect on where he’s been and where he’s at now, and that whole kind of career I guess, so using the two pictures of him was really important for me, representing where he started in the movie Walkabout to later in life.

“It was really great when I was painting, I had about six people come up to me and they were like, ‘David’, like straight off the bat just saying it without even talking to me and I’m like, sick, that's great, so many people already know who he is.” 

The mural took Mr Readett three days to paint, which has also been admired by South Australian Premier Steven Marshall who attended the launch. 

“Thom Readett is such an incredible artist and he’s painting such an incredible artist for Australia,” Mr Marshall told NITV News.

“ I think that people driving past this, walking past this, coming to visit this will be absolutely inspired by the story of David Gulpilil.”

The mural will be on display as a permanent showpiece on the East side of the building.

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