Artists associated with Maningrida have been at the forefront of printmaking by Aboriginal artists in Australia. It is a medium that has allowed artists to expand their repertoire and take inventive and singular approaches to their subject matter.
In 1979, Johnny Bulunbulun and David Milaybuma visited Port Jackson Press and produced limited edition prints. These print series were the first by Aboriginal artists to be widely marketed, and they found a keen market. In 1983, at the Printmaking Workshop of the Canberra School of Art, Johnny Bulunbulun and England Banggala were among the first Aboriginal artists to experiment with lithography.
During the 1990s, a number of women from the region began working in the areas of etching, lithography and screen-printing, in response to a series of projects run by Maningrida Arts & Culture and Bábbarra Women’s Centre. Staff of Charles Darwin University’s Northern Editions became involved in 1997, and for many years were instrumental in both the production and promotion of Maningrida prints. Bábbarra Women’s Centre acquired its own printing press, and most of the print production took place entirely in Maningrida.
Fine art prints by artists from Maningrida are in many significant private and public Aboriginal art collections. The community also maintains an archive of these cultural works to ensure that they remain accessible to future generations.
Our print gallery will re-open to the public in late 2017.