Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (NATSIAA)

Deborah Wurrkidj’s work Ngaye nga-bengkan I have that knowledge) 2019 was finalist in the 2019 Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (NATSIAA).

“This work has been created using silk stained with native botanicals in Arnhem Land. Deborah has a lifetime of experience dying pandanus, however this is the first time she has used ‘bush colour’ dye for purpose of dying woven fibres at the Babbarra Women’s Centre.

The process of collecting the botanicals is laborious.  The yellow tone is from the root of the man-kurdudjumuk (coelospermum reticulatum), dug out in the sandy country near flood plains.  Blue-silver is from the man-djurlukkun (antidesma ghesaembilla), a delicious red/purple berry, only occurring for a few weeks after the wet season. The rusty tone is from windilk (haemodorum coccineum), a flower which grows in the stone country.

After dying the fabrics, Deborah has printed various hand carved lino titles over the silks using metallic silver ink. The designs relate to women’s knowledge of country and environment- pandanus woven mats, dilly bags, water lily, pandanus trees, water hole and woven baskets.

“I was learning from the old people. I was taught by my grandma and the old women that dyeing story, same way I’m doing it with manburrbarr (fabric)- same leaves, same flowers, and same roots.

My grandmother told me, you don’t have to do it balanda (non- Aboriginal) way, you can do it our Aboriginal way. We have colour in our country, we know where it lives- our rock country and the flood plain way. Our plants- she will make lots of different colours, you just have to look.

We can eat the man-djurlukkun (native currant) for bush tucker, but also I was thinking, like my mind, I could use this manme (bush food) for dyeing. This is really the first time we have ever used this berry for dying- this year, 2019. I saw how good that colour looked I had that idea to use it at Babbarra on silk- but I had to stop those kids from eating those berries first- true story!”

Text by Deborah Wurrkidj and Ingrid Johanson, 2019

‘Ngaye nga-bengkan (I have that knowledge)’ 2019 natural dyes from man-kurdudjumuk (Coelospermum reticulatum), man-djurlukkun (Antidesma ghesaembilla) and windilk (Haemodorum coccineum) on silk with metallic fabric ink 140 x 300 cm (overall)


Bawaliba Homeland by Lucy Yarawanga

Ended on — at Laundry Gallery

Bulanjdjan Lucy Yarawanga has been exhibiting in group shows with Babbarra Women’s Centre and Maningrida Arts & Culture over recent years. Bawaliba Homeland will be Lucy’s first solo exhibition showcasing a large body of works on paper depicting the lives of Bawaliba at their homeland near Djinkarr, Central Arnhem Land. “I have painted the Bawaliba homeland. For people

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Rising Stars 2023 at Outstation Gallery

Ended on — at Outstaion Gallery

This year the women are rising – from Babbarra Women’s Centre, Papulankutja Artists, Spinifex Arts Project and Mimili Maku Arts. Strong in story, passed down from mother and grandmother, the works in this year’s Rising Stars are phenomenal. Betty Campbell from Mimili Maku has already attracted a huge following after only a year painting, and

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Jarracharra at the Indian Museum Kolkata

Ended on — at Indian Museum

In 2019, five Aboriginal artists from Maningrida, West Arnhem Land, travelled to Paris to open their exhibition of Bábbarra Designs textiles at the Australian Embassy. This journey caused a stir across the indigenous textile and fashion sector and brought international attention to the remote Bábbarra Women’s Centre. Three years later, Jarracharra (Dry Season Wind) arrived

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Salon des Refusés – Babbarra Texta

Ended on — at Gallery 5

Every August, Salon Art Projects presents the Salon des Refusés, an exhibition of works submitted but not accepted into the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (NATSIAA). Its quality demonstrates the superb standard of art being created by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists nationwide, and it also provides valuable insight into where the

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Blaklight – Babbarra Designs

Ended on — at Art Gallery Of Western Australia

On display at the Art Gallery of Western Australia is a selection of Bábbarra Designs’ exquisite hand-printed textiles that tell the ancestral stories of Bábbarra’s Arnhem Land country and cultures. Initially established as a women’s refuge in 1983, the Bábbarra Women’s Centre is now an established art centre with a strong focus on professional development and providing

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Aboriginal Screen-Printed Textiles from Australia’s Top End

Ended on — at Fowler Museum - UCLA

This exhibition takes us on a journey around Northern Australia, known as the “Top End,” and invites us to explore more than 70 distinctive, screen-printed textiles made by contemporary artists at five Aboriginal-owned art centres. Since the 1960s, these textiles have become a vibrant medium for Indigenous expression, perpetuating traditional knowledge and reinvigorating its visual

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Jarracharra: Dry Season Wind at Expo 2020

Ended on — at World Expo Dubai

Jarracharra: Dry Season Wind at Expo 2020 Jarracharra: dry season wind showcases a powerful collection of Aboriginal women’s textile art from the Maningrida region in Western Arnhem Land, Australia. This exhibition features women pushing artistic barriers to depict ancient narratives using contemporary mediums. Women’s deep and intrinsic cultural knowledge runs through all the works in

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Mabbúlarr (calm, still water) – Water Tower Series

Ended on — at Nightcliff Water Tower

MABBÚLARR JOY GARLBIN & JOSEPHINE JAMES (BÁBBARRA WOMEN’S CENTRE) Mabbúlarr tells the story of the turtle we call marláddja (green sea turtle) and the stingray we call marnandjúbba (cowtail stingray). The film is an abstracted story linking the traditional hunting method of the sea turtle to the ceremonial dance, MiÍddjarn. Artists Josephine James and her

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Rekkan / Tamuwu / Nyinakati (sit/sit down)

Ended on — at JAM FACTORY

Rekkan / Tamuwu / Nyinakat (sit/sit down) showcases the vitality and exuberance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander textile design by interpreting Indigenous fabric onto contemporary upholstered furniture. Across three exciting creative collaborations, diverse Indigenous textile artists have worked directly with South Australian furniture and product designers to produce a series of chairs that offer

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Jarracharra: Dry Season Wind in Berlin

Ended on — at Australian Embassy Germany

JARRACHARRA: DRY SEASON WIND AT THE AUSTRALIAN EMBASSY BERLIN The Australian Embassy Berlin in cooperation with curator Laura Thompson, is pleased to present ‘Jarracharra: dry season wind’ at the Australian Embassy from 8 November 2021. ‘Jarracharra: dry season wind’ brings together a selection of textile works from the Bábbarra Women’s Centre. Situated in Western Arnhem Land

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Ended on — at Cairns Art Gallery

This landmark exhibition, presents exciting new hand-printed Indigenous textiles from remote communities across far north Australia. Community-led Aboriginal Art Centres in the Northern Territory first explored screen-printed textiles as a new creative medium in the 1960s. Today, these textiles are a nationally and internationally acclaimed form of cultural expression that provides sustainable economic, cultural, and

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Wangaratta Contemporary Textile Award

Ended on — at WTCA Wangaratta Art Gallery

The Wangaratta Contemporary Textile Award is a biennial acquisitive award & exhibition celebrating the diversity and strength of Australia’s textile artistry. This biennial nationally significant award has been presented by Wangaratta Art Gallery since 2009, and will again be a showcase of textile artistry and talent from across Australia. Wangaratta has a long and prominent

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Piinpi: Contemporary Indigenous Fashion

Ended on — at National Museum of Australia

Piinpi: Contemporary Indigenous Fashion is a celebration of Indigenous art, history and culture through contemporary fashion and design. It brings together a selection of garments and textiles by First Nations designers and artists from around Australia. ‘Piinpi’ is an expression that Kanichi Thampanyu (First Nations people from the East Cape York Peninsula) use to describe

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Ended on — at Delmar Gallery

Lineage celebrates the significant creative force of contemporary women artists from the Maningrida region in Arnhem Land NT, working across the media of fibre, fabric printing and paper. The Maningrida region in Arnhem Land is one of the most linguistically diverse places in the world, with 12 distinct languages spoken by over 110 clan groups.

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Parrtjima – A festival of Light

Ended on — at Northern Territory Major Events Company

Parrtjima is the meeting place where old meets new. It is the only authentic Aboriginal light festival of it’s kind, showcasing the oldest continuous culture on earth through the newest technology – all on the 300-million-year-old natural canvas of the MacDonnell Ranges in Central Australia. Each year this free event celebrates the ways in which

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Ended on — at Museo Nacional de Antropología, Madrid (ES)

The exhibition Jarracharra: dry season wind / Les vents de la saison sèche by Babbarra Women’s Centre has travelled from Paris to the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium, and now to the Museo Nacional de Antropología in Madrid, Spain. The Museo Nacional de Antropología is hosting Jarracharra from 3 Dec 2020 – 14 Feb 2021. In addition, there

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Piinpi: Contemporary Indigenous Fashion

Ended on — at Bendigo Art Gallery

Piinpi: Contemporary Indigenous Fashion brings together a selection of garments and textiles by First Nations designers and artists from around Australia. The first major survey of contemporary Indigenous Australian fashion to be undertaken in this country, Piinpi sheds lights on a growing industry which is blossoming and set to become Australia’s major fashion movement. Piinpi:

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Ended on — at Japingka Aboriginal Art

The exhibition theme showcases ancient and contemporary knowledge, and reflects the craft associated with the dilly bag which is both a sacred ceremonial symbol and a utilitarian object. The women artists produce many various screen print designs depicting fish traps and dilly bags in different styles and formats, using all natural fibres in silks, linens

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Jarracharra: dry season winds

Ended on — at Embassy of Australia, Paris

Opening in Paris on the 3rd October, we are incredibly proud to present Jarracharra. Jarracharra: dry season wind showcases a powerful collection of Aboriginal women’s textile art from the Maningrida region in Western Arnhem Land, Australia. This exhibition features women pushing artistic barriers to depict ancient narratives using contemporary mediums. Women’s deep and intrinsic cultural

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Yúbburr-yubburr: dusk

Ended on — at Euroa Butter Factory

Yúbburr-yubburr: Dusk brings together well-known female artists from the homelands of Arnhem Land. Their colourful and expressive hand printed fabrics integrate time-honoured traditions of art making with contemporary imagery. ‘We think to the ancestors. We think to our culture. The paperback canoe, the yam designs, fishtraps woven- they are all stories from our people. We watch

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36th Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards

Ended on — at MAGNT

Deborah Wurrkidj- Ngaye nga-bengkan  (I have that knowledge) This work has been created using silk stained with native botanicals in Arnhem Land. Deborah has a lifetime of experience dying pandanus, however this is the first time she has used ‘bush colour’ dye for purpose of dying woven fibres at the Babbarra Women’s Centre. The process

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KUN-WARAL: spirit shadows

Ended on — at The Project Space - Salon

Kun-waral, a collaboration between Bábbarra Women’s Centre and Maningrida Arts & Culture, refers to the shadow or memory of powerful beings who transformed as they moved across country, before humans arrived. In the same way, the artists in this show transform and move across artistic mediums, presenting Japanese woodblock prints, etchings, linocuts on fabric and pandanus woven panels.

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Bábbarra Design at the Tour de France

Ended on

For the 2019 Tour de France,  Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) contacted Bábbarra Women’s Centre in order to licence Jennifer Wurrkidj’s design, for SBS presenters to wear during the Tour de France broadcasting on international television. SBS had jerseys made in Sydney, and distributed them to the team where they were worn proudly by staff and crew

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Bábbarra: The Studio

Ended on — at Art Gallery of South Australia

To complement John Mawurndjul: I am the old and the new , Bábbarra Designs in Maningrida have transformed the Studio with bold and colourful hand-printed textiles. Inspired by the plants and animals of Arnhem Land, experiment with repeating patterns to create your own layered design and learn the Kuninjku name for your favourite Australian animal! Presented by

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Fremantle Arts Centre Print Award

Ended on — at Fremantle Arts Centre

Jennifer Wurrkidj’s ‘Kurulk Kare (Going Underground) was a finalist. This year the 43rd annual Fremantle Arts Centre Print Award supported by Little Creatures Brewing presents the best of Australian printmaking. Australia’s premier showcase of prints and artists’ books returns with a selection of works from established, emerging and cross-disciplinary artists from across the nation.

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Ngaldjorlhbo – Mother of Everything

Ended on — at IDAIA - International Development for Indigenous Arts

Ngaldjorlhbo  |  Mother of Everything  |  Mère de Toute Création Showcasing the art of the women artists from the Aboriginal community of Maningrida, in Western Arnhem Land (Australia), this is the first exhibition focusing on their multi-disciplinary artistic creative process in Paris, France. Co-curated with leading senior artists and sisters Deborah Wurrkidj and Jennifer Wurrkidj, and

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Blak Design Matters

Ended on — at Koori Heritage Trust

As Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander designers are leading a movement away from collaborative or consultative models to Indigenous-led design, this survey exhibition showcases contemporary Indigenous design projects from across Australia. From fashion, interiors, and product design to landscape, architecture and town planning, the exhibited projects will interrogate how Indigenous design is defined, received, and made visible

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King and Wood Mallesons Award – Contemporary Art Prize

Ended on — at NSW Parliament House

Raylene Bonson’s ‘Wubbunj’ was one of 32 finalists. The purpose of the King & Wood Mallesons Award – Contemporary ATSI Art Prize is to acknowledge the outstanding contribution made to Australian culture by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists in remote, regional and urban areas throughout Australia working in wall hung two or three dimensional

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Damibila Mimah – Bush Food Focus

Ended on — at Aboriginal Bush Traders

This exhibition focuses on the extensive knowledge of the propagation, harvesting, preparation and storage of bush foods held by Aboriginal people from different communities around the NT. Damibila in Gulumoerrgin (Larrakia) means ‘Barramundi’ and is also the name given to the season that signals the start of the dry season in the Top End. Mimah means food in Gulumoerrgin;

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Karrang Kunred – Mother Land

Ended on — at The Cross Art Projects

Opening: Friday 20th April 2018 at 6 pm Karrang Kunred/Mother Land unites three senior Kuninjku women of the Kurulk clan who are closely related: sisters Jennifer Wurrkidj and Deborah Wurrkidj and aunt Susan Marawarr. Artistic boundaries are pushed in this exhibition by connecting traditional bark paintings and lorrkon alongside experimental textile prints. Karrang Kunred in Kuninjku means

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Bábbarra: Women Printing Culture

Ended on — at The Cross Art Projects

Women Printing Culture Bábbarra Designs, a contemporary art textile centre in the community of Maningrida, is Aboriginal owned and governed, run by women for women. It is one of a small group of Indigenous textile-producing art centres in Australia that design, print and sew product onsite, in community. Each silk-screened length of fabric is a

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Karridjowkke Kunronj – Crossing Streams

Ended on — at Nomad Art

Karridjowkke Kunronj – Crossing Streams brings together five established female artists from the Kuninjku homelands of western Arnhem Land. The works integrate time-honoured traditions of art making with contemporary imagery. Deborah Wurrkidj, Jennifer Wurrkidj, Susan Marawarr, Helen Lanyinwanga and Melba Gunjarrwanga, are women of the stone country surrounding the remote homeland of Mumeka, who work with both Babbarra Designs and

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Into the Water

Ended on — at Tactile Arts

An immersive exhibition that delves into the waters of Arnhem Land. Through the storytelling of contemporary fibre artists of the larger Maningrida region, this exhibition presents a world abundant with totemic ancestors and beings, animals and the various technologies used to hunt. Featuring installations and fibre sculptures by senior artists including Lulu Laradjbi, Anniebell Marrngnamarrnga, Frewa Bardaluna, Vera

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Wiwa Bábbarra – Sacred Ground

Ended on — at ANU School of Art

The title for this exhibition ‘Wiwa Babbarra: Sacred Ground’ was chosen, with formal permissions from the traditional land owner and djunkai (land caretaker) of the land Babbarra. Babbarra billabong is a place of high sacred significance south of the community of Maningrida, and is also the namesake of our Women’s Centre. ‘Wiwa’ means my country,

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Beyond the Surface: New Textiles and Ceramics

Ended on — at Cairns Art Gallery

Beyond the Surface: New Textiles and Ceramics explores the diverse ways in which images and designs are applied to contemporary ceramics, textiles and furniture as an aesthetic expression of culture and identity. A new initiative of the Gallery, Beyond the Surface brings together recent works produced by a selection of outstanding Indigenous and non-Indigenous ceramists, textile artists and

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2014 Indigenous Fashion Week

Ended on

In April this year, Babbarra Designs was invited to present at Sydney’s inaugural Australian Indigenous Fashion Week’s Design Forum Creative Lab Sessions. An overarching theme for the forum was the building of ethical frameworks for design collaborations between fashion designers and Indigenous fabric producers. The women from Babbarra Designs spoke about their collaboration with Sydney Indigenous

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Intertwined: Pandanus Fibre, Culture and Design

Ended on — at Tactile Arts

Marebu and Mukuy: The centerpiece of the exhibition will be a pandanus mat and baskets showing the traditional technique of weaving pandanus to create cultural objects. This will establish a visual link between the adaptation of traditional pandanus weaving to designs on fabric from Maningrida, and the creation of the sculptural Mukuy spirit beings from

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Telling Stories on Fabric

Ended on — at ANU School of Art

This exhibition showcases the fine Indigenous textile art by the women of Maningrida in Central Arnhem Land. The work of these textile artists depicts many different ‘stories’. These stories relate to the landscape, dreaming stories, bush foods and bush crafts from ‘on country’. The variation in subject matter reflects the different cultural identity of the

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Selling Yarns 3: weaving the nation’s story

Ended on — at National Museum of Australia

Selling Yarns 3: Weaving the nation’s story was a four-day event that presented a conference, a market day, workshops, an exhibition and associated activities program, and launched the inaugural Indigenous Art Film program. As the premier national forum for Indigenous textile and fibre in the country it was supported by the Centenary of Canberra, drawing people

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Momentum: 18th Tamworth Fibre Textile Biennial

Ended on — at Tamworth Regional Gallery

Curated by Valerie Kirk, Head of Textiles at the Australian National University. The theme for the Biennial was the gathering of momentum and ideas in response to evolving current technologies in textiles. “History and Tradition have not been negated. On the contrary, there is a reawakened interest in preserving knowledge and expertise, respecting past traditions

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