Born in 1947 in his father’s country of Ngalyindi, Bununggurr was an inquisitive child, constantly asking questions of his culture and art. After attending school at the Milingimbi Mission, Bununggurr worked on the Milingimbi housing team, and as a cowboy/stockman at Nangalala station and later at the Murwangi Cattle Station near Mulgurrum.
Bununggurr first exhibition was in 1984 entitled Objects and Representations from Ramingining, held at the Power Institute [now MCA], Sydney, NSW. Bununggurr continued to successfully exhibit in over 20 group exhibitions, with work acquired by both private and public collectors. Bununggurr was pre-selected for the 2013 Telstra awards, for the painting entitled Gurrwilimy Dhawuu (swamp story) depicting swamp life in Ramingining, Central Arnhem Land.
Bununggurr leant the skills of print making under the instruction of Indigenous artist, and printmaker, Lawrence Leslie. Bununggurr has produced numerous successful prints, commonly depicting cultural stories of Yolngu people. Bununggurr also completed a certificate II in Visual Art from the Charles Darwin University in 2013.
Bununggurr appeared in the 1967 film Across the Top, a documentary by Malcolm Douglas recording the traditional life in Arnhem Land, the Gulf of Capartaria and Cape York. In 2005 Bununggurr made his screen debut in de Heer’s Award winning film 10 Canoes playing a lead canoeist. The film was a great success and aided in educating the world about Yolngu culture in Ramingining, Central Arnhem Land.
A song man for his community, Bununggurr has also toured domestically and internationally with David Gulpili in the 1970’s and 1980’s. In 1980’s, Bununggurr and fellow song men Jimmy Djamanba and Peter Milanyga formed the band Wak Wak Jungi, performing around Australia and overseas. Bununggurr has also performed several time with Charles MacMahon’s band Gondwanaland, collaborating with them in their 1994 album Traveling.
Bununggurr has been apart of many projects throughout his career including: music, painting, carving and film. Bununggurr continues to be a sought after artist.