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Presenting contemporary voices from the world’s oldest continuous artistic practice, Michael Reid Berlin is honoured to present Spirit Worlds, a group of artworks from Maningrida Arts & Culture.
A small town in Kunibídji country, West-Arnhem land, Maningrida is a cultural hub for more than 100 clan estates, speaking over 12 distinct languages and spanning 7,000 square kilometres. From mangrove to mountain, through scrubland and escarpment, the changing country is reflected in the richly varied spiritual and artistic practice present here. Aboriginal people in this region are still on country, living as their forebears did and passing down the sacred knowledge that has informed and ensured their survival for generations. This land is the centre of their epistemology, their belief system, culture – djang.
The eight works in this exhibition by Samuel Namunjdja, Paul Namarinjmak Nabulumo, Janet Marawarr, Carlos Namunjdja, Deborah Wurrkidj, and Anniebell Marrngamarrnga Bindalbindal, have their genesis in body design, rock art and cultural practices. Values and law are expressed through language, imagery, manikay (song), bunggul (dance), doloppo bim (bark painting), sculptures, and kun-madj (weaving) – the arts. Incorporating the abundant artistic expression of this land, Maningrida Arts & Culture builds on the last 50 years of collaborations between these peoples, forming a collective voice that has brought about political action, economic reform and rightful ownership of country.