Echoes of Land and Sea

Our open studio and exhibition for Rome Art Week was a great success! Echoes of Land and Sea showcased the work of textile artists Felicity Griffin Clark and Olga Teksheva, and was curated by Velia Littera.

 

work by Olga Teksheva

We had many visitors for the opening night and during the week. They were fascinated by the use of textiles as a potent medium to create modern, expressive art and by the capacity of textiles to achieve such a range of effects.

work by Felicity Griffin Clark

As well as admiring the artworks, people were fascinated by the collaborative installation where the artists displayed their sketchbooks, experiments and inspirations from nature. As an added piece of excitement, both Felicity Griffin Clark and Olga Teksheva were admitted to the Society for Embroidered Work during the course of the exhibition. The Society is a professional organisation dedicated to promoting and supporting artists who use stitch as a component of their work. This is a cause dear to our hearts and we were thrilled to become members of S.E.W.

Counterweave is planning a bigger exhibition in autumn 2019 to showcase the versatility of textile as an art form.

Exciting news!

We are really excited to announce that LM Knowles has joined Counterweave!

LM is a successful contemporary Australian artist of Aboriginal and European descent, currently living in France.

My art practice has been driven by ongoing personal desire to seek out traces of my heritage, and to construct an understanding of my identity and ‘place’ in Australia’s present day multicultural society. It has become an unremitting examination of the narratives and stories of Australia’s postcolonial histories, and the impact they have had on Indigenous culture today; in particular women such as myself.

LM’s unique textural collage paintings combine textiles, leather and paper with traditional Indigenous materials like fur and grass tree resin.  She has exhibited her work across Australia and Europe. Find out more about her here.

LM’s work will be available in the gallery from mid-November  email [email protected] for more information or to book a private gallery viewing.

We are very grateful to the Australian Cultural Centre – Italy who introduced LM Knowles to Counterweave and saw the possibilities and connections between our work. The Australian Cultural Centre – Italy provides support for Australians and Australian projects and programs in Italy, and works with local Italian Communities to create and develop projects and programs between Australia and Italy that offer long-term value to both of our countries. More information on the Australian Cultural Centre – Italy can be found here.

Australian art in Rome in August and autumn classes

art | craft | anima - Counterweave - Melbourne + Rome. Australian, Aboriginal & Asia-Pacific contemporary arts, crafts & textiles. Reiki & Tarot.

Felicity Griffin Clark – mixed media indigo concertina art book

Australian art specialists in Rome, Counterweave Arts Gallery & Workshop is open throughout the summer.

August in Rome is traditionally when businesses close for the summer holiday. It’s true Rome is hot, people are saying ‘see you in September’ and there are signs going up on shop doors saying ‘chiuso per ferie’. But Counterweave Arts is open for business! If you want a cool place to revive, and see some beautiful artwork by Australian artists email us at [email protected] to arrange an appointment. Currently in the gallery we have works on canvas by Central Australian Aboriginal artists represented by Artists of Ampilatwatja and Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation, etchings by Melbourne artists, Lisa Sewards and Trudy Rice, and mixed media and textiles by Felicity Griffin Clark. Click here to see full catalogues of our current stock.

 

Nathania Nangala Granites, Warlukurlangu Jukurrpa (Fire country Dreaming)

 

Lisa Sewards Love is in the air

 

We also have some amazing wearable art in stock, with beautiful handwoven necklaces by Mary Burgess, silk scarves featuring the unique designs of Artists of Ampilatwatja and indigo silk scarves by Felicity Griffin Clark. These are also available in the online shop here.

We are currently working on our autumn/winter 2017 Counterweave Workshop program, with classes including:

  • Introduction to eco and indigo dyeing (one day workshop)

  • Introduction to shibori (one day workshop)

  • Meditating the Spindle – an introduction to mindful spinning (three half-day workshops)

Workshops will include materials, class notes and snacks, for a maximum of six participants, and led by Felicity Griffin Clark, an experienced mixed media and textile artist.  Dyeing and shibori workshops will use a range of natural materials including silk, wool, cotton and paper. Meditating the Spindle will focus on using wool and silk fibres. One to one classes for individual students are also available.

For more information email [email protected] or subscribe to the Counterweave newsletter for updates on exhibitions, opening nights, workshops and early bird discounts. A full autumn program and online booking will be available soon.

Warlukurlangu artist – Walter Jangala Brown

Walter Jangala Brown was born in 1977 in Yuendumu, a remote Aboriginal community 290 km north-west of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory of Australia. He comes from a long line of artists including Pintupi artist Ronnie Jampijinpa, a highly acclaimed painter and founder of the Papunya Tula Artists group. Walter went to Yirara College, an Aboriginal boarding college in Alice Springs. When he finished school, he worked for the Shire for 2 or 3 years. He now lives in Nyirripi and is married to Valerie. They have three children.

He began painting for Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation, an Aboriginal owned and governed art centre located in Yuendumu in 2007. He paints his father’s Ngapa Jukurrpa (Water Dreaming); Warna Jukurrpa (Snake Dreaming); and Yumari Jukurrpa (a collection of rocks located to the west of Kintore in the Gibson Desert). He also paints his grandfather’s Tingari Cycle. These dreamings relate directly to his land, its features and the plants and animals that inhabit it.

When Walter is not working or painting he plays football and goes hunting.

Walter Jangala Brown, Tingari Cycle (122 x 107 cm) acrylic on canvas POA

This painting depicts a portion of the Tingari cycle, a very important collection of Dreaming narratives from the Western Desert region . The country that this painting depicts is located far to the west of Yuendumu, and spans a vast area of land across the Gibson and Great Sandy Deserts in Western Australia . Aboriginal groups that paint the Tingari cycle include the Pintupi, Kukatja, Ngarti, and Walmajarri peoples, among others. The Tingari cycle consists of three major Dreaming tracks.The cycle tells the story of a group of ancient creation ancestors, the Tingari, who travelled across the country .The Tingari took different forms, some human and some animal. Humans were typically initiated men accompanied by ‘punyunyu’ (novices, uninitiated men). The men were sometimes accompanied by extremely powerful initiated women (called variously the ‘Kungka Tjuta,’ ‘Minyma Tjuta, ‘or ‘Kanaputa’) . Like the initiated men, these initiated women were accompanied by uninitiated women to whom they provided a ritual education. Animals featured in the Tingari cycle include the dingo, emu, kingfisher, and western quoll, among others .

As the Tingari travelled over vast areas of the country, they held initiations and other ceremonies, caused or encountered raging bushfires, hunted game, found and cooked bush-tucker, fought and killed one another, disposed of the dead or brought them back to life, interacted with totemic ancestors, copulated illicitly , made and used sacred objects, flew through the air, and died in hailstorms . In the course of these adventures, they either created or became the physical features of the sites they visited, forming rocky outcrops, waterholes , trees, salt lakes, ochre deposits, and so on. These sites which are now regarded as sacred by their descendants, today’s custodians of these places.

The Tingari also laid down social customs n law as it should be practised today. Their journeys form the basis of sacred and secret men’s and women’s laws. Public paintings of th Tingari cycle typically only show the unrestricted portions of these stories.

Traditional iconography is used to represent the Dreamings, associated sites, and other elements of the Tingari cycle. In many paintings of these narratives, ancient wells, and other water features. Lines indicate rainfall and grasses that produced edible seeds after the rain, or routes taken by the Tingari as they travelled. People are represented by semi-circles. Sets of circles can represent the body-designs of the older men who are painting the bodies of the younger men, often as smaller circles.

 

[Information used with kind permission from  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.]

 

 

Two Australian Printmakers – Lisa Sewards and Trudy Rice

Counterweave’s opening exhibition features the work of Trudy Rice and Lisa Sewards – two well-established Australian printmakers renowned for their strength and delicacy of their work. The works in this exhibition are solar plate etchings printed on BFK Rives paper BFK Rives 280gsm, and sold unframed. Email us at [email protected] for a full catalogue and prices.

 

Lisa Sewards, Pigeon Wing II ( plate 30×20.5cm, paper 50x33cm) POA

 

Lisa Sewards, Love is in the air (plate 10.5cm diameter, paper 26x21cm) POA

 

Trudy Rice, Black Cockatoo & Hakea II (38 x 28.5 cm) POA

 

Trudy Rice, Blue Pincushion Protea in the garden
( 76 x 28.5 cm) POA

Ampilatwatja artist – Natasha Beasley

Natasha Beasley was born in 1972 in Ampilatwatja, an Aboriginal community in the Northern Territory of Australia. Natasha enjoys painting with her sister Traphina Beasley and says ” I find that painting makes me feel good I want to continue painting. My kids like to paint too”.

Natasha Beasley, View Of Country (46 x 46cm) POA

The community of Ampilatwatja made a conscious decision not to paint ‘altyerr’ dreaming stories, the artists paint their country where those stories sit. This painting shows the layered landscape of Alyawarr, Central Australia. Knowing your country is an important part of living in a remote community like Ampilatwatja. Knowing when and where to go hunting and gathering, knowing where there is ‘soakage’ (where you can dig for water), travelling with family for ceremonies, and maintaining a connection with the land.

“This is my country, my view of country.”

Natasha Beasley, Bush Medicine Plants (61 x 30 cm) POA

“Bush medicine plants are used for healing on the body and for drinking. We make this by smashing the plants with a rock, we use the juice and the fibre of the plant. We collect bush medicine plants when we are out hunting. Different kinds of plants grow during different seasons. There are lots of different medicines, we know what their stories are, we learnt them from our parents and we teach these stories to our
children.” Bush medicine knowledge is still strong in Ampilatwatja, it continues to be passed down to the younger generations and is widely used. When the women go hunting they often gather bush medicine. The plants depicted here are found in the country around Ampilatwatja, they are used for soothing skin infections and to make a drink to help with colds and coughs. Painting bush medicine stories is important because it helps to maintain a strong knowledge and culture for the community.

 

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

unwrapping artworks

There was great excitement here today as we unwrapped the parcels of artworks from Warlukurlangu Aboriginal Artists Corporation. Two huge rolls of carefully kraftpapered and bubblewrapped paintings arrived safely from Australia and were very gently opened and laid flat on our biggest table.

The works are breathtakingly beautiful – photos just can’t convey how much light and movement and colour leaps out of them. Next stage is getting the stretchers ready to gallery wrap the canvases and put them on the walls. Stay tuned!

 

Counterweave Arts opening exhibition

Counterweave Arts is proud to invite you to our opening exhibition, featuring etchings by Australian printmakers Lisa Sewards and Trudy Rice and paintings and textiles from the Ampilatwatja and Warlukurlangu artists of Central Australia. The exhibition opens on Tuesday 27 June at 6.30pm and will be open by appointment from 28 June until Saturday 15 July. If you can’t get to the gallery please email us at [email protected] and we’ll send you a pdf catalogue.

Lisa Sewards, Little Parachute Pigeon 1/8, Etching (solar plate), plate size 9.5×20.5cm, paper 21x28cm, edition of 8, unframed, 2017 POA

Based in Melbourne, Trudy and Lisa have complementary approaches to printmaking and draw on a range of contemporary and traditional techniques including intaglio, etching, linocut, solar plate etching and digital technology.

Lisa Sewards is an award-winning Melbourne based artist with her work represented in collections throughout Australia. Lisa explores themes of memory, safety, silence, hope and strength through recurring images of parachutes and carrier pigeons, and the roles they played during World War II.  The parachute object is the source for her imagery, continually creating storytelling in the absence of text.  Find out more about Lisa here.

Trudy Rice, Red dragonfly with 4 seed pods and green cotton lavender etching (solar plate) 38 x 57 cm, unframed, POA

Trudy Rice is well-known for her sensitive artistic response to the natural world – her work features exquisitely observed and rendered depiction of birds, native plants, insects and sealife.  Much of her inspiration is collected quite close to home, from her garden and around the coastal landscape of Lorne on Victoria’s picturesque Great Ocean Road. Her studio is filled with specimens collected from the bush and sea. Find out more about Trudy here.

The work of Ampilatwatja and Warlukurlangu artists reflects their deep connection to country – we will be featuring different artists from both communities on the blog over the next few weeks. This post highlights the work of Lorraine Napangardi Wheeler of the Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation and Joycie Pitjarra Morton of Artists of Ampilatwatja.

Lorraine Napangardi Wheeler,  Lukarrara Jukurrpa (Desert Fringe-rush Seed Dreaming) (30 x 30 cm) POA

Lorraine Napangardi Wheeler’s painting is of  the Lukarrara Jukurrpa, which Jukurrpa belongs to women of the Nakamarra/Napurrurla subsections and to Jakamarra/Jupurrurla men. This Dreaming is associated with a place called Jaralypari, north of Yuendumu. Find out more about Lorraine’s painting here.

Joycie Pitjarra Morton, My Country 61 x 51 cm Acrylic on Linen POA

Joycie Pitjarra Morton paints with Artists of Ampilatwatja.  Joycie’s husband is from Ampilatwatja and she has lived here for many years, however her country is “out Rum Jungle Way.” about 100 kms south of Darwin. In 1952 the Australian Government funded the setting up of a mine and treatment plant to provide uranium oxide concentrate to the UK-US. Although the Rum Jungle mine closed in 1971, one of the main environmental impacts of uranium mining is the creation of large volumes of radioactive mine waste (tailings) which are left behind on the site. Joycie’s land is still recovering from the damage that was done. This painting of Joycie’s depicts a happier time, when she remembers the land from which she came. Find out more about Joycie here.

 

 

 

 

 

new work from Australia

 

Joy Nangala Brown

Yumari Jukurrpa (Yumari Dreaming)

91 x 46 cm

Our first shipments of art from Aboriginal communities in Central Australia have arrived in Italy.  Paintings from the Warlukurlangu Aboriginal Artists Corporation, and paintings and art textiles (handpainted silks scarves and wraps) from Artists of Ampilatwatja will soon be available in the Counterweave Gallery. For information on pricing and to receive a pdf catalogue please contact us at [email protected]

 

Daisy Kemarre Turner

My Mothers Country

30 x 30 cm

Learn more about Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation and Artists of Ampilatwatja on the Counterweave artists page.