Kunred Kodbarre (The Louvre) by Deborah Wurrkidj

Kunred Kodbarre (The Louvre)

“This design is new and tells a different story of when I went to Paris. This building in the middle of my design is the Louvre. We went and saw that big building made of glass, and there were lots of people walking around. In Paris, there is a big creek made from bricks, with water flowing through the city. I have painted it here too, with the light poles next to it. There are so many tall buildings in Paris. When I see this design, I remember everything about my trip to Paris. For this design I had the idea of putting our Aboriginal bush tucker around the Louvre, so the plants here are kundayarr (pandanus), wayuk (water lily) and karrbarda (long yam). I painted some French trees too’.

In 2019 five artists from Babbarra Women’s Centre travelled to France for the opening of their exhibition Jarracharra: Dry Season Wind. Deborah Wurrkidj, Jennifer Wurrkidj, Janet Marawarr, Jacinta Lami Lami and Elizabeth Kala Kala danced at the opening of the exhibition to a packed embassy gallery, and hosted various public panels including at the Musee du Quai Branly. The artists featured in Vogue magazine, wearing garments featuring their own printed designs on the balcony of the Ambassador to France, with a panoramic view of the Eiffel Tower in the background.

Inspired by the same voyage, on return to Maningrida Deborah Wurrkidj wove a sculpture of the Eiffel Tower out of naturally dyed pandanus, titled Ngaye ngawam nganang kunred  kukimukken, kubba nakornamkuyeng karri (I travelled a long way away, to that place with the tall tower). The work was a finalist in the prestigious 2020 Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (NATSIAA).