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Presented by IDAIA – International Development for Indigenous Arts, co-curated with leading senior artists and sisters Deborah Wurrkidj and Jennifer Wurrkidj, and Susan Marawarr, their aunt, and in collaboration with Maningrida Arts & Culture and Bábbarra Women’s Art Centre, the display articulates around an unprecedented concept and revolves around the central spiritual figure of Ngaldjorlhbo, specially unveiled by the artists for the project.
Ngaldjorlhbo is a powerful woman who created the spiritual and tangible world for the Aboriginal people in Western Arnhem Land. In creating the land and environment, she endowed Kuninjku people with the ability to create art, and with their culture, to share with future generations. Ngaldjorlhbo gives women the cultural knowledge and deep links to country, identity and ancestor spirits, which informs the diverse art practice presented in this exhibition.
Ngaldjorlhbo celebrates the artists’ adaptability and cross-disciplinary approach in creating, visualising, materializing and passing on their culture. The exhibition gathers a selection of 40 works comprising a range of media from bark paintings to screen and lino prints on textiles, etchings, hollow funerals logs, and mimih carvings. These startling artworks testify to the women’s intimate, both physical and spiritual link to their country, while challenging the viewers and inviting them on a journey through the Western Arnhem Land and its sacred his/stories.