The Cross Art Projects. Art Gallery, Sydney, Kings Cross, NSW. About us.

RISE 4: WOMEN AND WATER IN THE DJELK REGION

Opening: Saturday 6 July, 2 pm
Exhibition: 6 July to 17 August 2024
Talk: Saturday 20 July, 2pm
Dr Caroline Edwards, National Museum of Australia

Glossary for Water
Kunronj (fresh water): Kuninjku, Kune language word.
Kábba (salt water): Ndjébbana language word for the Kunibidji people.
Kábba na-múrrukkud (freshwater mixed with saltwater; the estuary): Burarra language word.

Artists
Bábbarra Designs: Verity Bangarra, Raylene Bonson, Joy Garlbin, Janet Marawarr, Abigail Namundja, Jay Rostron, Elizabeth Wullunmingu, Deborah Wurrkidj, Lucy Yarawanga with drawings by Verity Bangarra, Joy Garlbin, Jocelyn Koyole, Elizabeth Wullunmingu
Maningrida Arts and Culture: Maureen Ali, Gloreen Campion, Joy Garlbin (op cit), Samantha Malkudja, Simone Namunjdja, Sonia Namarnyilk, Deborah Wurrkidj (op cit), Lucy Yarawanga (op cit)

About

RISE 4 presents bark paintings and weavings from Maningrida Arts and Culture and printed textiles (most linocut and woodblock) alongside drawings from Bábbarra Women’s Centre in Maningrida in central Arnhem Land. Women and Water in the Djelk Region, is the fourth in the RISE thematic series of exhibitions on the impacts of climate catastrophe.

The shimmering works reflect the artists’ existential concern about threats to their ancestral land, sea, and waterways. The exhibition offers a blueprint to protect and honour fragile land and water ecosystems under increasing threat from feral animals (pigs, buffalo) that make water undrinkable, noxious weeds and wildfire. More recent threats are from saltwater inundation of low-lying and freshwater habitats and the approval of mining and fracking proposals. The works relate to the area lying between the stone country of Arnhem Land plateau and the Arafura Sea—internationally renowned wetlands, monsoon rainforests, tropical savannas, rivers and estuaries which support significant collections of waterbirds and shorebirds — but excludes the inland stone country. This vast area is known as the Djelk Indigenous Protected Area, part of the National Reserve Estate, managed from Maningrida.

Two of the nation’s longest-running community based Aboriginal art centres are based here: Bábbarra Womens’ Centre and Maningrida Arts and Culture. Each centre has a distinctive cultural and economic framework and media focus. Maningrida Arts and Culture or ‘MAC’, is celebrated for fine rrark-style bark painting and exquisite weaving. A case in point is the splendour of Mun-dirra or Fish Trap in Burarra (one of at least a dozen Indigenous languages spoken in Maningrida), a collaborative work by artists from MAC displayed to great acclaim in the NGV International Triennial in Melbourne late last year.

For three generations Bábbarra Womens’ Centre and its Bábbara Designs, both named after the sacred Bábbarra billabong, has played a vital role in visualising women’s social authority, and promoting artistic excellence. In a historically male-focused national Indigenous art world and contemporary gallery system Bábbarra Designs is a beacon for the role of art in community resilience and intergenerational mentoring. Art is a means to define difference, mark social and geographic boundaries, substantiate claims to country and an income.[1]

Women and water in the Djelk region, expands the geographic and linguistic framework of two previous exhibitions from Maningrida at The Cross Art Projects[2]. Variously, water is called Kunronj (water) in Kuninjku and Kune by inland and freshwater families represented here by artists Deborah Wurrkidj, Abigail Namundja, Janet Marawarr, Raylene Bonson and Jay Jurrupula Rostron (Kune). Kábba is water in Ndjébbana language for the saltwater families of the Kunibidji people represented by artist Joy Garlbin a traditional owner of Maningrida. Kábba na-múrrukkud is freshwater mixed with saltwater or the estuary, the Burarra word for water, represented here by artists Belinda Kernan and Verity Bangarra.

Present in all artworks from each art centre are the country’s palette of dense paper bark forest, freshwater rivers and seasonal floodplains, home to file snakes and saltwater crocodiles, and the inter-tidal zone were marine turtles breed and along the coastline the multiple species supported by the mangrove forests. The design variations reflect these different language groups, country, and clans.

In the Bábbarra studio, senior artists and teachers Joy Garlbin, Deborah Wurrkidj, Janet Marawarr and Elizabeth Wullunmingu have the authority to channel their cultural knowledge and connections to country and activate new cultural expressions emerging from djang (the creative power that resides in ancestral country). These alchemists evoke customary ways and practices and experiment with visual forms to constantly re-invent the contemporary.

Each Bábbarra studio linocut print is a unique artwork (a metre in many colours may take one to two days) while woodblock-printed textiles can be more expressionistic (not working to a gridded format). Screen prints, on the other hand, have a more regular repeat pattern, like Deborah Kamanj Wurrkidj’s ‘Kunmadj’, depicting a large woven collecting basket made from the burney vine (Trophis scandens), used to collect heavy foods, such as fish caught in conical fish traps. The exhibition includes new textile works created during a creative exchange at Tharangini Studio, India’s oldest heritage studio (established in 1977) also run by women, in Bangalore, where Bábbarra’s senior Kuninjku artists Janet Marawarr and Deborah Wurrkidj re-imagined their lino designs onto teak woodblock and explored eco-friendly printing methods on Sari-lengths of silk and cotton. A collaborative work indigo discharge silk cotton sari titled ‘Karrbarda, Ngalkordow and Kunred (Country)’, with woodblocks by Janet Marawarr and Deborah Wurrkidj can be viewed in the exhibition.

The installation features barks painted with natural pigments by Deborah Wurrkitj and Sonia Namarnyilk beside natural fibre weavings coloured by bush dye usually a striking yellow – gold hue from the root of the man-kurdudjumuk plant (Coelospermum reticulatum). The root is shaven into a pot of boiling water and to release the colour. Ash sprinkled into the mix creates beautiful orange tones. Not all is from the earth as also included are brilliantly coloured drawings on paper made during Covid lockdown. A drawing by Joy Garlbin depicts Djómi Billabong a women’s site also the namesake of Maningrida’s significant Djómi Museum established in the 1970s to house cultural treasures.

Some artworks express the power of country itself and conceptually merge the natural and spiritual worlds, others focus on the ancestral activities that created it or inhabit it: the powerful Rainbow Serpent Ngalyod, female water spirits including Yawkyawk and jin-Merdewa, and spirit beings such as mimih, Namorrorddo and Wangarra. The gridded rarrk designs on barks and shifting colours in the printed textiles interpret a metaphysical experience with country—which in essence works to bring together the experience of ‘outside’ and ‘inside’ phenomena.

Land and sea country is primarily inherited from one’s father (patrilineal) but responsibilities for land and resource management also come from one’s mother’s traditional estate (matrilineal). Managers of the land through their mother’s country are called Djungkay. Some Landowners and Djungkay are worried that traditional knowledge is being eroded just as, in a vicious spiral, the threats from extreme unhealthy fires and depletion of bush tucker and coast fisheries increase. And as everywhere sea levels keep rising.

International recognition for remote women’s art is illustrated in the book and exhibition Aboriginal Screen-Printed Textiles from Australia’s Top End published by the Fowler Museum at UCLA (2020), which showcased Bábbarra Designs as one of a small group of five Indigenous textile producing art centres that design, print and sew onsite in community. Sitting with Injalak Arts in Arnhem Land, Tiwi art centres Jilamara and Tiwi Designs and Merrepen Arts on the Daly River, Bábbarra Designs is the only ‘women only’ art centre.

A Bábbarra Designs initiative is the exhibition Jarracharra /Dry Season Winds, presented in Paris, the Middle East and New Delhi in March 2023 and touring to five Indian cities. Janet Marawarr and Deborah Wurrkidj were present at the Indian Museum, Kolkata and travelled to Bangalore to participate in a workshop at Tharangini Studio. Tharangini Studio is collaborating with Bábbarra Designs and Indian curators to prepare an exhibition for the Bangalore International Centre in September 2024.

Notes

Maningrida
Maningrida is an Anglicised version of the Kunibidji name Manayingkarirra, from the phrase ‘mane djang karrira’, meaning ‘the place where the Dreaming changed shape.’ The township (population 1700), sits at the mouth of the Liverpool River in north-central Arnhem Land. Maningrida and its dynamic 30 family outstations is the hub for the Djelk Indigenous Protected Region (Djelk IPA): an area of 7000 square kilometres. The area has an unbroken history of Indigenous use and management. The Djelk Rangers founded in 1991 operate out of Maningrida and service the Djelk IPA. Bawinanga Aboriginal Corporation sponsors the rangers and the art centres MAC and Babbarra and Djomi Museum.

People here speak many different languages (more than 12). Along the coast from east to west there are four principal languages, Burrara, Nakara, Ndjébbana and Kunbarlang. In the central part on the headwaters of the Cadell River, Kunartpa and Gurrgoni are the two main languages while in the lower Mann-Liverpool Rivers area Kuninjku predominates. In the far south and south-east, Kune, Dalabon and Rembarrnga are the main languages spoken.

Bábbarra Womens’ Centre was founded in 1987 by Ndjébbana leader Helen Williams as a women’s refuge with a vision for Maningrida women’s rights and agency. Bábbarra Women’s Centre has transformed from a humble women’s refuge and creche to a thriving textile hub. Bábbarra is a word in the Ndjébbana language of the Kunibídji people on whose Country the community of Maningrida lies. Bábbarra Designs emerged in the early 2000s.Babbarra Designs holds regular training workshops: lino-block printing and etching were delivered by Jayne Nankivell in 1998-99 as did Judy Watson. Since 2003 textile designer Bobbie Ruben has held ongoing screen-print workshops. Bábbarra now has more than 80 screen-print designs by 35 artists, one of the largest collections of Aboriginal textile designs in Australia.

Bábbarra Womens’ Centre continues to run an op-shop and laundry and services women’s centres in five outstations. Through the Bábbarra Women’s Governance Group, the artists lobby for better health services and housing, for environmental protection against fracking, and to support return to one the 30 family homelands supported from Maningrida.

Notes

  1. Jon Altman and Appolline Kohen, Mumeka to Milmilngkan. Innovation in Kurulk Art, Canberra: Drill Hall Gallery, 2006. Jon Altman, Mumeka to Milmilngkan: Innovation in Kurulk Art, 2006, p.26 and Jon Altman, mane djang karirra: the place where the dreaming changed shape, Flinders University Museum of Art in association with Tarnanthi Festival, 2023.
  2. Báb-barra: Women Printing Culture (2017). Artists: Raylene Bonson, Lenni Goya- Airra, Jennifer Gandjalamirriwuy, Melba Gunjarrwanga, Linda Gurawana, Belinda Kernan, Belinda Kuriniya, Helen Lanyinwanga, Janet Marawarr, Susan Marawarr, Elizabeth Wullunmingu, Deborah Wurrkidj, Jennifer Wurrkidj and Lucy Yarawanga, at The Cross Art Projects, 4 November to 16 December 2017. Karrang Kunred / Mother-Land. Artists: Susan Marawarr, Mrs J. Wurrkidj & Deborah Wurrkidj, The Cross Art Projects, 20 April to 30 June 2018.
  3. Four Bábbarra artists will travel to India to co-create textiles during an extended workshop at Tharangini Studio supported by the Centre for Australia–India Relations. Other collaborations are licenced to Publisher Textiles in Sydney and to milliner Helen Kaminski in 2024.
The Cross Art Projects, Artist Exhibition.

Jocelyn Koyole, Yawkyawk, Djenj, Berelh, 2023, fibre-tipped pen on paper, 54 x 75 cm (#624-23)

The Cross Art Projects, Artist Exhibition.

Joy Garlbin, Djomi Swamp, 2023, fibre-tipped pen on paper, 56 x 78 cm (#1101-23)

The Cross Art Projects, Artist Exhibition.

Deborah Wurrkidj, Kun-madj (Dillybag), 2023, ochre on stringybark, 64 x 29 cm (#1522-23); Deborah Wurrkidj, Kun-madj / large dillybag vine, 2018, ochre on stringybark, 131 x 39 cm (#694-18).

The Cross Art Projects, Artist Exhibition.

(L) Deborah Wurrkidj, Wak Wak, 2024, lorrkon (hollow log), 168 x 12 cm (#399-24). (R) Deborah Wurrkidj, Wak Wak, 2024, lorrkon (hollow log), 173.5 x 12 cm (#400-24)

The Cross Art Projects, Artist Exhibition.

Elizabeth Wullunmingu, Dugong, 2023, fibre-tipped pen on paper, 54 x 76 cm (#622-23)

The Cross Art Projects, Artist Exhibition. Rise 4, 2024

RISE 4: Women & Water in the Djelk Region. Installation view, left to right: Deborah Wurrkidj, Kun-madj (Dillybag), 2023, ochre on stringybark, 64 x 29 cm (#1522-23); Deborah Wurrkidj, Kun-madj / large dillybag vine, 2018, ochre on stringybark, 131 x 39 cm (#694-18). Textiles: Janet Marawarr & Deborah Wurrkidj, Kundalk (Grasses) and Kunred (Country), 2024, woodblock and bush dyes on silk, 540 x 110 cm (#225b-24 + #225a-24). Janet Marawarr, Karrbarda, Ngalkordow and Kunred (Country) Woodblock Sari, 2024. Bush dyes on silk, 540 x 110 cm (#224-24). Both made during workshop at Tharangini Studio in Bangalore.

The Cross Art Projects, Artist Exhibition. Rise 4, 2024

Textile detail: Janet Marawarr, Karrbarda, Ngalkordow and Kunred (Country) Woodblock Sari, 2024. Bush dyes on silk, 540 x 110 cm (#224-24). Made during workshop at Tharangini Studio in Bangalore.

The Cross Art Projects, Artist Exhibition.

Maningrida language map

Artists — Textiles

Verity Bangarra
Verity Bangarra is a Kunibidji land owner. Her mother was from Djinkarr and her father was born at Babbarra. Verity was taught printing by the late Helen Williams, founder of Babbarra Womens’ Centre. Verity’s totems are Lady Dreaming and Djabayéna or Yawkyawk depicted with fish tail and long hair, associated with long blooms of algae. She also makes work about Makéddja (Turtle) and Djabayena (Ancestral sawfish spirit), featured in RISE4: Women and Water in the Djelk region, 2024.

Ruth Bindeidbal
Ruth Bindeidbal is from the Kuninjku language group and is the young daughter of artists H. Karrkarrbha and J. Wurrkidj. She is married to artist Obed Namirrkki, son of artist Ivan Namirrkki and grandson of artist Peter Marralwanga. Ruth works fluently across many mediums including sculpture and bark painting. Her textile work explores the ancestral stories of yawkyawk (young women spirit), mandjabu (fishtrap) and Buluwana. Her country is Mankorlod homeland, her mother’s country is Mumeka and her grandmother’s country is Barridjowkeng.

Raylene Bonson
Raylene Bonson has been working with Bábbarra Designs since 2012 and is a permanent arts worker specialising in linocut technique. She was mentored by her late mother, Nancy Gununwanga, a senior textile artist and a founding member of Bábbarra Women’s Centre. Raylene’s work depicts ancestral stories and ceremonial objects such as lorrkkon (hollow log for burial), kunmadj (dillybag) and mandjabu (conical fishtrap). She participated in Manburrba: Our story of printed cloth from Babbarra Women’s Centre, Charles Darwin University Gallery, Darwin in 2023.

Joy Garlbin
Joy Garlbin is a Kunibidji woman and traditional owner of Maningrida and an integral member of the Bábbarra Women’s Centre since the early years. She speaks Ndjébbana the language of the traditional owners of Maningrida and Kunibidji language. These are one language but with hard and soft tonal differences. Joy is a textile artist and a highly regarded bark painter, who depicts the story of her ancestral dreaming the Djomi in her textile work with permission from her Djunguys. She also paints and weaves.

Lucielle Ikara
Lucielle Ikara is the oldest grandaughter of artist Lucy Yarawanga and works together with her grandmother. Ancestral stories are passed down through generations of women and Bábbarra Women’s Centre provides a space for this important cultural mentoring.

Jocelyn Koyole
Bangardijan Jocelyn is a Kuninjku speaker born in Maningrida in 1984. She is a fibre artist and lino printer working at Babbarra Women’s Centre. She taught a series of children’s lino printing and weaving workshops at The National Museum of Australia during their 2023 NAIDOC public program.

Carol Liyawanga
Carol was born on a remote cattle station, near Bulmun community and now lives with her family on the remote homeland of Buluhkaduru. She works as a remote homelands supervisor, managing the Buluhkaduru women’s centre. She was mentored by her mother to weave baskets and dillybags from natural fibres and bush dyes and has strong knowledge in plants and native wild foods. She is also a lino-cut printmaker.

Janet Marawarr
Janet Kalidjan Marawarr is a virtuoso senior Kuninjku artist at Babbarra Designs working across lino, woodcut and screen print media. In 2019 she travelled to Paris to launch the touring exhibition, Jarracharra / Dry Season Wind and in 2022 travelled to the exhibition Aboriginal Screen-Printed Textiles from Australia’s Top End at Fowler Museum, UCLA. In 2023 Marawarr was invited by the Australian Consul-General, Kolkata to explore the textile region of West Bengal. She toured the region visiting women’s groups including the Bridging Culture and Art Foundation Kantha studio in Tushkhali, Sundarbans; the Sadaf India Studio and the Navajeevan Co-operative Society in Jajpur, Odisha. Marawarr is an established bark painter with Maningrida Arts & Crafts and she works for the Maningrida Night Patrol, a community safety service.

‘I print lino Yawkyawk (spirit woman) and Ngaldjorlhbo (mother of Everything). This was an old lady and she create that language and the world before. I also print also Rolk (maggot), my mother design cause I’m the Djunkay (land manager) for her.’  Janet Marawarr 2020

‘I saw them old people, doing only lino with bush dye, no screen printing.  I was eighteen [years old]. I’m 60 now […] 40 years.’ Janet Marawarr for Artlink, 2023

Jay Jurrupula Rostron
Belinj Jay is a Kune, Dalabon and Rembarrngga woman from the Barappa clan. Jay works with detailed linocut fabric, drawing and screen print at Babbarra Designs. Her work portrays the ancestral stories of Namurre Boko (two brothers story) and Modjarrkki. She draws the freshwater country around her father’s homeland of Korlobidahdah. The Modjarrkki story belongs to the Barappa clan and is from the Duwa Country Dukala-djarranj and Kolorbidahdah located in the stone country of west Arnhem Land. The Songline and story was passed to Jay by her father (Dad’s brother) and is a true story that is still practiced through bunggul during cultural celebrations and gatherings. She works with a range of mediums including etching, linocut prints, painting bark, Pandanus weaving and sculpture. She participated in Manburrba: Our story of printed cloth from Babbarra Women’s Centre, Charles Darwin University Gallery, Darwin in 2023.

Deborah Wurrkidj
Deborah Wurrkidj is a celebrated Kuninjku artist, born in 1971 at Maningrida. Since 1991, she worked alongside her late mother Helen Lanyinwanga and sister the late Mrs J. Wurrkidj at Babbarra. Her father is venerated maestro John Mawurndjul. (continued)

Deborah Wurrkidj continued … Her intricate designs are illustrative of the artistic innovation in Maningrida since the 1990s, in painting, printmaking, carvings and weaving. Her works have an optical effect, where intricate patterns often intertwine and overlap. Common subjects include the djang (Dreaming) of Wak Wak, Ngalyod (Rainbow Serpent) and yawkyawk (female water spirit), alongside the imagery of fish-traps, mats and baskets, which may also have symbolic dimension. She is a graduate of the ANKA Arts Worker Extension Program (2014) and a leader of artist training at Babbarra and mentor to her late sister’s daughter. She has exhibited widely since 2001, throughout Australia, Europe and the United States. She participated in Manburrba: Our story of printed cloth from Babbarra Women’s Centre, Charles Darwin University Gallery, Darwin in 2023.

Elizabeth Kodjdjan Wullunmingu is an Anbara Burarra woman who grew up on her mother country at the mouth of the Blyth River, east of Maningrida. In 2024 she collaborated with artisanal milliner, Helen Kaminski to develop a collection of hats featuring her Lino printed textile, Dakarra (cockle shell). She participated in Manburrba: Our story of printed cloth from Babbarra Women’s Centre, Charles Darwin University Gallery, Darwin in 2023.

Mrs J. Wurrkidj
We pay our respects to the late Mrs Wurrkidj who worked at Bábbarra Designs from 2007 with her mother Helen Lanyinwanga and sister Deborah Wurrkidj. She is a daughter of acclaimed bark painter John Mawurndjul. She was renowned for her bark paintings, hollow logs and carved sculptures She was married to the late Hamish Karrkarrhba, another fine artist and the pair collaborated on many works. Her artwork is in the many state collections.

Elizabeth Wullunmingu
Elizabeth Wullunmingu says, ‘I draw on the inspiration of my mother’s designs.’ Her late mother and mentor was Doris Gingingara who painted colourful textile prints for Desert Designs in the 1980s. She started sewing and designing at Bábbarra in 2010 and is a key member of the sewing team. Her intricate designs depict the marine life from her saltwater homeland of Gupanga. Elizabeth designed and sewed outfits for the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Her screen print design Rrugurrgurda (Mud Crab) was part of the successful KipandCo x Babbarra homewares collection in 2020. She participated in Manburrba: Our story of printed cloth from Babbarra Women’s Centre, Charles Darwin University Gallery, Darwin in 2023.

Apphia Wurrkidj
Apphia Wurrkidj learned to paint in the Mumeka style from her father James Iyuna (dec) and mother Melba Gunjarrwanga. She is part of the next generation who continue to produce the strong geometric rarrk that represents key Djang sites on their clan lands. Common subjects of her work include the Dilebang (Waterhole) site, Wak Wak (Black Crow) at Kurrurldul and Ngalyod (Rainbow Serpent). The intensity of her compositions and fine linework make her works stand out from those of her peers.

Lucy Yarawonga
Lucy Yarawonga is from the Gurrgoni language group which is one of the least commonly spoken languages in Arnhem Land. She speaks another eight Maningrida languages including Kuninjku. She is an experienced textile artist (lino and screen prints) at Bábbarra Women’s Centre and often references her ancestral stories in her textile work, including Bawaliba (Djinkarr spirit woman) narrative. She participated in Manburrba: Our story of printed cloth from Babbarra Women’s Centre, Charles Darwin University Gallery, Darwin in 2023.

Artists — Painting and Weaving

Maureen Ali
Maureen Ali is Burarra, one of the east-side language groups who specialise in the customary conical dilly bags, woven string bags and mats. However, Maureen following her mother, a NATSIA award winner, also specialises in fish traps and was part of the team of weavers commissioned for the NGV International Triennale in 2023.
Gloreen Campion

Joy Garlbin, Biography op cit.

Samantha Malkudja
Samantha Malkadja learned to weave from her mother Frewa Bardaluna, a master fibre artist. Her work is distinguished by her soft tonal range, strong sense of design and intricate technique. Samantha makes panels and 2D sculptures which depict local fish, such as stingray and animal species and often yawkyawks, female water spirits. Samantha predominately uses gun-menama (pandanus spiralis) in her works. Like her contemporaries, Samantha only uses natural dyes and achieves enormous variation. Her spectacular stingray features in RISE4: Women and Water in the Djelk region, 2024.

Simone Namunjdja
Is a young Kuninjku artist born in 1997. This is her second group exhibition.

Sonia Namarnyilk
Sonia Namarnyilk (1969) cross-hatching from her husband Djorlom and she has developed a reputation for strong form and bold designs. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. She is also a designer at Babbarra Women’s Centre. Common subject matter for Namarnyilk includes yawkyawk (female water spirits), turtles and barramundi. Her astonishingly realistic Birlmu (Barramundi) features in RISE4: Women and Water in the Djelk region, 2024.

Deborah Wurrkidj, Kuninjku artist, born in 1971 at Maningrida. Biography op cit.

Lucy Yarawanga, Biography op cit.

References
Aboriginal Screen-Printed Textiles from Australia’s Top End published by the Fowler Museum essays by Barrkman, Janet Marawarr, Lucy Yarawanga and Janita Yikara Wright, Felicity. See: Michelle Culpitt, Ingrid Johanson and Karin Riederer, ‘Bábbarra Women’s Centre: By Women for Women,’ pp. 118-145.

ANKA, Talking Up Textiles: Community Fabric and Indigenous Industry. Stories from the Forum in Gunbalanya, Darwin August 2012.

Manburrba: Our story of printed cloth from Babbarra Women’s Centre, Charles Darwin University Art Gallery, Darwin 2023. Essays by Joanna Barrkman, Janet Marawarr, Lucy Yarawanga and Janita Yikara.

Dianne Moon (curator), Fine Lines: works of ornamentation and decoration by Maningrida Artists. Exhibition bringing together works made by women from Maningrida in the 1980s, 1999. A showcase of The Maningrida Collection of Aboriginal Art of approximately 600 works held in trust for the people of Maningrida by Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art.

Hetti Perkins, Crossing Country: The Alchemy of Western Arnhem Land Art, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2004. Exhibition catalogue. See: Jon Altman, “Brokering Kuninjku Art: Artists, Institutions and the Market.”

Luke Taylor, Seeing the Inside: Bark painting in western Arnhem Land, 1996, Oxford.

Acknowledgements
Thanks to the artists especially Deborah Wurrkitj and Janet Marawarr; Babbarra managers Jessica Stallenberg and new manager Ziian Carey; MAC (manager Brooke Ainscrow and assistant manager Kelly Butler); Ingrid Johanson for advice and Bawinanga Aboriginal Corporation. Special thanks: exhibition preparation team of Susan Hackett (textile workshop), Ace Bourke, Belle Blau, Phillip Boulten, Ace Bourke, Kai Mokotow Den Hartog.

The artists are represented by Maningrida Arts and Culture (bark and fibre) and Babbarra Women’s Centre (textiles).

 

You say ‘Bábbarra’ with the stress on the first syllable: ‘bá’, and you can read the Bábbarra story.