Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA)
06 March to 01 June 2003
Mabel Anaka-anaburra, England Banggala, Rosie Bindalbindal, John Bulunbulun, Bob Burruwal, Carol Liyawanga Campion, Lena Djamarrayku, Dorothy Galaledba, Melba Gunjarrwanga, James Iyuna, Mary Jadbalag, Lorna Jin-gubarrangunyja, Anchor Kalunba, Nancy Kaybbirama, Margaret Lollop, Shirley Malgarrich, Minnie Manarrjala, Wally Mandarrk, Mary Marabamba, Susan Marawarr, Mabel Mayangal, Elizabeth Mipilanggurr, Kate Miwulku, Daisy Nadjungdanga, , John Mawurndjul, Les Mirrikkuriya, Jack Wunuwun, Dixie Wurrpamirra, Kaye Yaibumgala, Lena Yarinkura
Drawn from the MCA’s significant collection of work by artists from Maningrida in Australia’s Northern Territory, this exhibition illustrated the role that fibre plays in the practice of artists from this community. Supplementing the collection were a number of more recent works demonstrating the artistic evolution and innovations which have taken place in the decade since the Maningrida Collection came to the MCA in 1994.
Works including fish traps, drag nets, hunting bags, pandanus mats, dilly bags, string bags and baskets, as well as non-fibre pieces which had a direct relation to the fibre works, were selected by Apolline Kohen, Arts Director at Maningrida Arts and Culture, one of Australia’s largest community based Aboriginal Arts Co-operatives. In the decade since 1994, many traditional woven items have undergone significant change as their everyday functions become less important. Unconstrained by practicalities, these cultural shifts have opened the way for Maningrida artists to apply a variety of new techniques and media, such as print-making and casting in bronze and aluminium.
The exhibition was distinguished by two bodies of work. The first and largest group of approximately fifty objects, was drawn from the Maningrida Collection and was created in the mid to late 1980s. The second group, of thirty recent works made between 2002-2003, included large objects such as fish-trap and drag net forms in fibre, sculptural spirit figures made using a similar technique, but whose bodies were painted and decorated, as well as bark paintings and etchings depicting fibre items and animal forms cast in metal. The exhibition sought to highlight the extraordinary development of the artists’explorations from traditional, functional forms towards artwork in a wide variety of media.
Presented in association with Maningrida Arts & Culture.