Featured artists profile – Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation

Our featured artists for May are from the Warlukurlangu community in Central Australia. Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation is a community owned and run organisation representing artists from the remote desert Warlpiri communities of Yuendumu, Nyirripi and Yuelumu, which are located in the centre of Australia, 290km northwest of Alice Springs.

Warlukurlangu’s aim is to share and promote Warlpiri culture, to promote greater understanding of Aboriginal culture and to support local community projects  such as the Yuendumu Community Swimming Pool, the Kurdu Kurdukurlangu Childcare Centre and a scholarship fund supporting Aboriginal students studying medical and health related degrees at the University of New South Wales.

Joy Nangala Brown

Warlukurlangu is one of the oldest and most successful Aboriginal community-owned art centres in Australia. It has been owned and run by the Warlpiri and Anmatyerre people of the Yuendumu community since 1985. Works by Warlukurlangu artists are held in galleries and private collections around the world.

Ursula Napangardi Hudson

Warlukurlangu artists’ paintings act as ‘Dreaming tracks’ or maps and explain where and how features such as mountains, rocks and water sources/soaks were created. The paintings reflect and interpret the landscape (including the sky), birds, animals, plants and rocks – all full of significance and cultural meaning. Landscape features such as mountain ranges, valleys, soakages and rivers are seen as the result of ancient events and battles.Justinna Napaljarri Sims

These paintings do not reveal secret knowledge: they  share a certain level of knowledge that anyone is allowed to have access to. In keeping with Aboriginal laws, the artists reveal only a small amount of knowledge to the uninitiated. Artists talk of two broad levels of interpretation, the “inside” stories which are restricted to those of the appropriate ritual standing, and the “outside” stories which are open to all. Painting is an important way of passing on knowledge from Elders to the younger generations. Before Western paints and materials were introduced in the 1970s, Aboriginal people would draw in the dust, make petroglyphs and use ochre to decorate their bodies, tools and rock formations such as caves (rock art).

Alice Nampijinpa Michaels

To see more of these incredible artworks by Warlukurlangu artists, go to the Warlukurlangu catalogue or contact us if you are in Rome to visit the gallery. Keep an eye on our Facebook and Instagram feeds as we feature more artists throughout May.

[Information used with kind permission of the Warlukurlangu Aboriginal Artists Corporation. Copyright of all artwork and text remains with the artists and Aboriginal traditional owners and is administered on their behalf by Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation.]

Featured artist profile – Mary Burgess

Silk neckpiece

We are delighted to feature Australian artist Mary Burgess during April.  Mary is a hand weaver based in Melbourne, Australia. We were very proud to stage Mary’s exhibition ‘Weaving Meaning’ here in Rome in July 2017, which featured some of the works from her Woven Memories project.

Mother Rug, part of the Weaving Meaning exhibition, Rome, July 2017.

As part of Woven Memories, Mary works with people who have kept precious clothes, fabric, scarves and buttons, often when a family member has died. Collaborating with individuals and family groups she takes apart and then re-works their loved items through the medium of hand weaving. Mary creates unique keepsake pieces such as baby blankets, bedspreads, throw rugs and scarves. These new pieces nurture and comfort and continue to hold memories of loved family members and special times.

Woven Memory project in progress

We have a number of Mary’s incredible pieces of wearable art in the Counterweave collection. As well as necklaces made from vintage Lyon silk, we have some of Mary’s very special talisman pouches, woven from eco-dyed silk and often incorporating found objects like parrot feathers and special sticks from Mary’s travels through Central Australia. You can buy Mary’s pieces through the Counterweave Arts online shop or contact us if you are in Rome to visit the gallery.

Talisman pouches

Australian hand weaver Mary Burgess in her Melbourne studio

 

Featured artist – Lisa Sewards

This year we will be doing monthly profiles on all our artists. Our featured artist for March is Australian printmaker Lisa Sewards.

Lisa uses traditional printmaking techniques including etching, drypoint, aquatint, and engraving. She also explores the potential of solar plate etching. We have a number of Lisa’s etchings in our catalogue. You can see them online or make an appointment to see them in our Rome gallery.

Lisa Sewards Little Parachute Pigeon

Lisa’s work combines delicacy of touch with strong imagery and a limited palette. Her iconography reflects a preoccupation with memory, identity and loss stemming from her family’s experiences in World War 2. Parachutes, carrier pigeons and water are all recurring motifs, loaded with emotional significance.

Lisa Sewards Love is in the air

Lisa has been represented in major exhibitions around Australia, including solo exhibitions at the Port Jackson Press and fortyfivedownstairs galleries in Melbourne.  In 2018 she was a finalist in the Collins Place Gallery Summer Salon Art Prize and the 45th Muswellbrook Art Prize
Works on Paper Section

Lisa Sewards Chaos-3