12 May to 12 June 2021
Mossenson Galleries 115 Hay St Subiaco
An exhibition celebrating the work of senior artists working through Waringarri Aboriginal Arts, presented in conjunction with Mossenson Galleries.
Since its establishment in the 1980s, in the heart of Miriwoong Country at Kununurra in the Kimberley region of northern Australia, the artists working at Waringarri Aboriginal Arts have focussed on sharing the uniqueness of Miriwoong cultural identity through painting, performance, sculpture, storytelling and other artistic mediums.
With the passage of time, the first generation of Miriwoong painters have passed and the roles of cultural leaders and custodians of their stories now fall to their children and grandchildren. This next generation of artists paint informed by their elders but with their own style embellished with their own personal connection to country.
Country is sacred to the Miriwoong people and as custodians they have obligations to care for it together with the resting places of their spiritual ancestors. Land is not something Miriwoong people own, but something that is a part of them and for which they have significant cultural responsibilities. Painting has become a way for many cultural leaders to vicariously maintain connection to the sacred places of their Country.
As artist Ben Galmirri Ward states “Most of the younger generation today haven’t seen the Country that I paint”. His country,now underwater.being flooded by the creation of Lake Argyle, tells of times in the Ngarrangnarning creation time. Ward is driven to pass on his knowledge of cultural identity and country to young people through his art and their stories.
When an artist paints their Country they relate a map of the land and the knowledge contained within it. Each map of Country whilst relating not only the features of rivers, hills, open plains and waterholes also contains layers of knowledge that describes the features of the land, the Ngarrangarni stories and spiritual references, knowledge of bush foods as well as references to more contemporary events. By naming Country an artist indicates their knowledge, cultural status and the ultimately a deep connection and relationship to Country.
As each artist creates an artwork they are inspired by and reminded of their rich cultural heritage and the importance of their connection to Miriwoong Country.
The exhibition BERRDALDALNGTHA WOORLANG-Strong Stories includes work by Ben Ward, Kittey Malarvie, Peggy Griffiths, Betty Bundamurra, Brenda Ningamarra, Jan Griffiths, Mary Teresa Taylor, Mary Punchi Clement, Angelina Karadada.
The exhibition will be held at Mossenson Galleries,115 Hay St Subiaco from Wednesday May 12 until June 12, 2021