Nahnan, our upcoming exhibition by artists from Injalak Arts Centre, explores the deeply rooted traditions of caring for country, and the many forms in which this takes shape for the daluks (women) living on Kunwinjku land today.
Injalak is an Aboriginal-owned organisation with the community of Gunbalnya, West Arnhem Land at its heart. In Kunwinjku, which is the local language spoken, Injalak directly translates to shelter. Injalak shelters or is home to over 200 active artists and creatives, from the local community and surrounding outstations.
The country on which Injalak sits is brimming with a myriad of flora and natural materials. Whilst in abundance, these materials aren’t simply stumbled upon, they’re collected only by daluks who share a deep connection to the land and knowledge of how to care for it. Out on country, the daluks gather pandanus and a melange of roots, flowers and leaves which they use to create twine and intensely vibrant natural dyes. Whilst collecting these materials, they listen to the land, only taking what is ready to be picked or pruned.
We're thrilled to welcome the following artists into our gallery with this beautiful collection:
Alicia Mardday, Christine Ngalbarndidj Nabobbob, Djibigula Djayhgurrnga, Doris Guymala, Janice Nalorlman, Karen Watson, Kristelle Murdilnga, Lynne Nadjowh, Patsy Manganala and Trixie Nadjerrer
Read on below to find out more about each artist!
Alicia works within the media of Fibrework, pandanus weaving, single element string looping, woven and coiled baskets, dilly bags, knotted fibre figures and animals, string bags, feather decorated string bags, fish traps / nets, mixed medium fibre sculpture including recycled materials.
Christine Ngalbarndidj Nabobbob
Christine Nabobbob is the daughter of Rose Mangiru and Lazarus Nabobob. Her bininj name is Ngalbarndidj. Christine calls Kudjumarndi karrardwarrekenh (mother land) and mamamh. She is married to James Gulamuyu and they have three children. She works at the art centre as a Master Weaver, passing on traditional knowledge and stories to the younger generations and visitors.
"We know all those plants; we use them to make our art. We’ve got that whole rainbow in natural dyes, to dye that pandanus. Its special all those colours from those different plants, that’s why we want to share them with everyone, share those strong colours. But we must make sure we look after them, so we can keep showing all our family where to get those colours and how to do it properly."
- Christine Ngalbarndidj Nabobbob
Djibugula Dhyagunga is an older fibre artist working in the community. Although her specialty technique is twining she sometimes makes coiled baskets with handles.Her twined mats feature unusual open spaces creating scallop forms. She has work in Museum Victoria and her work has been published in Aboriginal Studies. (from Twined Together)
Janice Nalorlman is the daughter of fibre artist Alice (now deceased). Her sisters living at Mamadawerre Outstation, Molly Nayilibidj and Doreen and Margaret Nabulwad, are also artists .She produces bucket forms with movable handles in highly patterned close coiling. (from Twined Together)
Daughter of Ruby Billidja.
Lynne is the daughter of fibre artist Audrey Nadjowh and outstaton pioneer Timothy Nadjowh. She is known for boldly designed pandanus weavings and consummate paintings on bark and paper. Her baskets are characterised by bold blocks of colour and intricate figurative plant motofs. She also experiments with bark paintings with openwork coiled pandanus frames, a form unique to the Gunbalanya region. Both Lynne and her sister Selina were selected with 8 other prominent artists to create a design for an Injalak skateboard series, and have painted various murals at the Injalak Art Centre. Her work is featured in the pandanus weaving monograph Twined Together, 2006. In May 2016, Lynne represented Injalak Arts at the 12th Fesyival of Pacific Arts in Guam with her sister, husband and brother-in-law. They were part of the Australian delegation and made up one of the 27 Pacific Island Nations and Territories that participated.
Patsy Manganala is the daughter of Djibigula Djayhgurrnga and Djudurunjmak. Patsy is an emerging fibre artist, working closely with her mother Djibigula carrying on the traditional dilly bag weave that her mother practices. Patsy lives in Gunbalanya and assists her mother with all aspects of the weaving process.
“I always sat with my mum while she was weaving when I was young, she showed me how to do that Gundjabark (dilly bag) weave so, now I weave the same way. It’s a hard one and not many daluk (women) do that way anymore. That’s why I want to keep weaving that old way to make sure my daughter and family keep the style going.”
- Patsy Manganala
View Exhibition: Nahnan