Ray’s flying high with unique take on art

A 16-year-old who lives in the heart of remote Kakadu has become an overnight hit with his super-hero inspired art.

Ray Mudjandi’s first exhibition has only just opened but he is already being offered commissions outside the Northern Territory.

His artwork features original characters, including T-Buster who is strong like a rock; Starman who can see everywhere; Medicine Man who can heal; Dragon Fly Man who is elusive; Fish Man who looks after the waterways; and Lizard Man who is Fish’s friend.

An exhibition of the work, Bininj Ikon, opened at the Outstation Gallery in Darwin on July 9 and will run until the end of the month.

Gallery owner Matt Ward liked Mudjandi’s work so much he brought all six pieces in the exhibition and is donating them to the Darwin Museum and Art Gallery.

“There’s something about his work that I instantly fell for,” Ward said.

He’s not alone.

Damien Kamholtz, creative arts coordinator at Children’s Ground at Jabiru where Mudjandi paints, said the young artist had captured people’s imaginations.

“There’s been a lot of interest with this exhibition and body of work,” he said. “It’s struck a nerve with people.”

Kamholtz said Mudjandi began attending the Children’s Ground centre last year and about six months ago began working with senior artists.

His superhero artwork combines Marvel Comic-type characters with traditional Indigenous art techniques such as bark painting.

“The superheroes are definitely something Ray has brought to the space,” Kamholtz said. “He has a strong interest in movies, comic books and video games.”

Wendy Caccetta

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