Date & Time
Koskela Gallery is excited to present, Spirit In Bark: a Celebration of Bark Art from Across Oceania, featuring works by Elcho Island Arts, Ömie Artists and Maningrida Arts & Culture. This online exhibition is showing from the 18th September – 30th October, 2021.
Bark is a versatile medium both traditionally and in the contemporary art space. Bark can be stretched, whittled, carved and fused into cloth. Our latest exhibition, Spirit In Bark explores the diversity and beauty of this medium across three vibrant art centres, which span from Arnhem Land to Papua New Guinea. Despite the different approaches across the medium, the theme of respect and reverence for this natural, wild canvas is clear across the board.
Maningrida Arts and Culture is a Top End art centre spanning over 7,000 square kilometres across Kunibidji country. Djang (the on-going eternal, life-giving transformative power that accounts for every aspect of existence) unities 100 clan estates and more than 12 distinct language groups of the area. Maningrida artists channel this spiritual and creative force through their works, telling stories of country and creation ancestors.
Unlike the other art centres involved, Maningrida artists use only Stringybark trees in their practice. The bark is harvested after the wet season, the first step is to strip the tree, then cure it by a fire and finally leaving it to dry under weights. This helps flatten the natural canvas, although the beauty in these pieces is that over time the edges gently curl up.
The art centre has received international acclaim for the artists’ powerful articulation of their connection to country, spirituality and political activism. Doloppo bim (bark painting) are a traditional artistic practice to Maningrida, to find out more click here.
Koskela is thrilled to bring together First Nations cultures from across the Oceania to showcase the rich and diverse history of bark. Spirit in Bark is landmark exhibition for the Koskela Gallery, marking the first if our collaborations with a Papua New Guinean art centre and the medium of bark cloth.