Territory Stories

Arts backbone



Arts backbone


Association of the Northern, Kimberley and Arnhem Aboriginal Artists


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Association of The Northern, Kimberley and Arnhem Aboriginal Artists; Arnhem, Northern and Kimberley Artists Aboriginal Corporation; Art, Australian; Aboriginal Australians; Aboriginal Artists; Periodicals

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Association of the Northern, Kimberley and Arnhem Aboriginal Artists

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Arts backbone


volume 5 issue 4, December 2005

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Association of the Northern, Kimberley and Arnhem Aboriginal Artists



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Mardbalk Arts & Crafts - Warruwi Community, Goulburn Island Brenda Westley A N KA A A Arnhem Lands newest community owned art and cultural centre has opened at Warruwi Community, on Goulburn Island. Residents and artists have worked towards having their own art centre for many years, and except for a small grant for some offi ce furniture from Community Benefi t Funding (CBF) and Networking the Nation funding (through ANKAAA) for the computer and accessories, this community has continued to march forward on their own. Warruwi Community CEO, Jim Gorey, couldnt hold his excitement when asked about the new art centre I am so amazed, look at what we have managed to do on our own, just imagine what we could do if the funding bodies come on board! Jim fully supported the community and Council on their mission to have their own art and cultural centre: I personally believe this is one of the most effective and inspirational projects this community has ever taken on, from both an economic and cultural point of view. Having their own art centre has really inspired the artists, and when you see the community pride, you just know this place belongs to them. Mardbalk Art & Cultures Cultural Manager, Ralph Gumurdul, was so emotional when he offi cially opened the centre with Minister for Arts and Museums, Marion Scrymgour, he couldnt speak for a moment when he become choked up with emotion. I am so happy to see this day; I want to thank everyone who helped me to get here.... I really wanted this art centre for this place, the children, for their future I was thinking it wasnt going to happen before I go, I am just so happy for this place.for all of us. Resident artists produce traditional and contemporary pieces usually based from their homelands, or their parents land, so the gallery offers a fascinating and diverse range of works. Dot paintings with stories from the Central Desert and Alice Springs, as well as Kunwinjku artists producing Western Arnhem Land styles. North-east Arnhem creation and ceremonial designs are represented through a group of Yolngu artists, while naturally traditional owners and Maung artists are producing local creation stories from Northwestern Arnhem region, as well as exceptional dugong sculptures and hollow log coffi ns (created by Ralph himself,) pandanus baskets and mats. Mardbalk Arts & Culture Opening will was a true gala extravaganza, ending with fi reworks lighting up the small island community. So many people helped make the opening celebrations possible; the donation of toys and prizes from Super Toyworld Darwin, the face masks for the kids to decorate were from Jacksons Drawing Supplies and the huge community BBQ and drinks before the disco were provided by Arnhem Land Progress Association, Marion Scrymgour and Warruwi Community Inc. Thank-you all! Interior of Mardbalk Arts & Crafts ANKAAA Marion Scrymgour MLA with Ralph Gumurdul offi cially opening the Art Centre ANKAAA

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