Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair

Last weekend was the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair and what a great display of Indigenous Art and handwork it was! We did manage to leave without raiding our bank account too much but it was oh so tempting. Our daughter just missed out on two separate paintings from communities where she’s taught previously but luckily we managed to track down one copy of the limited edition print in Sydney…Excellent!

It’s amazing just how many art centres there now are scattered through the Northern Territory and Western Australia, and many were represented in the show  displaying fish baskets, woven baskets, woven mats, paintings in oil and watercolours, animals woven from pandanus or cloth, plates and bowls with Indigenous painting and so on.

Just some of the art centres which were represented. If you’re interested you can always google the name, as many now have an online presence.

Outside the Convention Centre there were people working on weaving and fabric printing. While I asked for permission to take photos I didn’t ask if I could put them on the blog so can’t really include them here.

The start of a woven mat or basket.

Gurindji women and paintings from Dagaragu and Kalkaringi

While at the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair last week we got chatting to these lovely Gurindji women on the art stand for Karungkarni Art from Kalkaringi. Our daughter taught at the Kalkaringi school and lived in the community for a number of years and we were lucky enough to visit several times. You can see a little of their country here, here and here.

Gurindji women Maree George (left) and Rachael Morris (right) at the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair 2012.

I was given permission to take the ladies’ photograph and show it on my blog: Rachel Morris is the artist who painted that magnificent painting of bush tomatoes on the rear wall. You can’t tell from this picture but much of the painting’s background is comprised of a myriad of dots. The paintings usually represent some aspect of traditional life and cultural heritage, skill and a lot of hard work goes into the paintings.

When I googled Rachael Morris’s name I found this video clip of her talking about the Karungkarni Art centre here.

The Guringji people, with their leader Vincent Lingiari, are famous for their role in obtaining equal pay for Aboriginal people as a result of their walk-off from Wave Hill Station on 22 August 1966. When Gough Whitlam came to power they also gained their own land in 1975 at Dagaragu (aka Wattie Creek) near Kalkaringi. You can read more about this pivotal story here. We bought a couple of books for our grandchildren including From Little Things Big Things Grow, based on this story and drawing on the words of the The Paul Kelly song.

You might also enjoy this video clip as Sara Storer (another Kalkaringi teacher) and Kev Carmody sing Children of the Gurindji, winner of the Video Clip of the Year at the 40th Country Music Awards of Australia, held at the Tamworth Country Music Festival, 2012. It gives some insight into how teachers also learn from their Indigenous pupils.