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Wednesday 26 June 2024
Open 9:00am - 5:00pm

Gayjal Gunjuy

15 October 2021 - 21 November 2021

Gayjal Gunjuy

Philip Denham

Philip Denham, Bagus with jiman (on Country), 2021, Milky pine and ochre. Photograph courtesy Girringun Aboriginal Centre.

Philip Denham (Danbilmagi) is a Girramay Artist from the Murray Upper area in North Queensland. His traditional country is Gayjal on the North Murray River, and his story is the Storm story. Artworks created for ‘Gayjal Gunjuy’ reflect his connection to culture and his rainforest country, and he tells his story through traditional artefacts, and the tribal motifs and contemporary designs that they are decorated with.

Philip creates important cultural artefacts as his ancestors have done for thousands of years before him. His knowledge was passed down to him from his parents Andy and Daisy Denham and his extended family. Philip creates Bagu, (fire maker), Birrubu Birrubu (cross boomerang) and Bigin (shield). He paints the artefacts with natural ochres with his traditional Girramay designs and his own contemporary designs.

Using Lawyercane vine (Bugul), Philip creates traditional Jawun (bicornual baskets) and Mindi (small basket). He also makes Bumbil (traditional string) from the bark of the Fig Tree which he incorporates into fish traps, and traditional fishing lines with the hooked tendrils of a rainforest vine.

I feel like I am living in two worlds, the past and the present, and I am bringing the past back into my future.
– Philip Denham.

Philip on Country with one of his bagu works and accompanying jiman. Photograph courtesy Girringun Aboriginal Centre.

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(07) 4772 7109

408 Flinders Street,
Gurambilbarra (Townsville),
Qld, 4810 Australia

PO Box 2394,
Gurambilbarra (Townsville),
Qld, 4810 Australia

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Acknowledgement of Country

Umbrella Studio Contemporary Arts respectfully acknowledges the Wulgurukaba of Gurambilbarra and Yunbenun and the surrounding groups of our region - Bindal, Gugu Badhan, Nywaigi, Warrgamay, Bandjin and Gudjal - as the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we gather, share and celebrate local creative practice. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as the first people of Australia. They have never ceded sovereignty and remain strong in their enduring connection to land and Culture.

Umbrella is a Dealer Member of the Indigenous Art Code. This means we are committed to fair and ethical trade with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, and transparency in the promotion and sale of artwork. As a Dealer Member and signatory to the Code we must act fairly, honestly, professionally and in good conscience in all direct or indirect dealings with artists.


Umbrella is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland, part of the Department of Communities, Housing and Digital Economy, and by the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy, an initiative of the Australian, state and territory governments. | Umbrella is supported by the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation and receives funding from Creative Australia through the Australian Cultural Fund. | Townsville City Council is a funding partner of Umbrella's program.