Manburrba: Our story of printed cloth from Babbarra Women’s Centre

Ended — at CDU Gallery

Date & Time


Charles Darwin University Art Gallery will be teeming with bold and colourful hand-printed textiles as it present the exhibition Manburrba: our story of printed cloth from Bábbarra Women’s Centre. This exhibition celebrates the creative journey undertaken by Maningrida women over the past 37 years. This survey exhibition features more than 85 striking and colourful hand-printed textiles made by 24 artists, as well as limited edition prints-on-paper, sculptures and basketry.

Manburrba is the word for ‘cloth’ in the Kuninjku language of Arnhem Land. Printing on cloth has been fostered by Bábbarra Women’s Centre causing it to grow into one of Australia’s major Indigenous textile enterprises. The centre’s reputation for large-scale, repeat, screen-printed textiles spans Australia and the globe.. Through becoming textile artists and mastering the design, lino-block, and screen-print mediums, these women have harnessed a contemporary means to transmit ancient stories and knowledge. The textile designs communicate aspects of their ancient cultures to the wider Australian mainstream society and internationally.

The story of printed cloth from Bábbarra Women’s Centre is one of women’s empowerment. Textile art has emerged as the creative medium to achieve improved economic livelihoods for three generations of Maningrida’s women, while also enabling them to maintain, transmit and express their cultural practices and expand their creativity on Country.

‘Kamak! .. I feel happy to see my mum’s manburrba. I printed the lino Marebu (Pandanus mat) on behalf of my mother. I hope it inspires Rosanna, my eldest daughter to print for me. ’Raylene Bonson

Participating Artists

Location & Contact

CDU Gallery
CDU Art Gallery • Chancellery (Building Orange 12) • Casuarina campus

CDU Gallery
Joanna Barrkman PhD