The 10th Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair: A Postcard from Laura Taylor
Images clockwise from top: DAAF map; Naiya Wilson (Durrmu Arts Aboriginal Corporation); Jean Baptiste Apuatimi, tungas.
As part of my day job with the Aboriginal Art Centre Hub of Western Australia (AACHWA) in Perth, WA, I had the opportunity to travel to Darwin at the start of August to attend the 10th Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair (DAAF).
This popular three-day art fair is held each year to coincide with the prestigious National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (held at MAGNT), and provides visitors, galleries and serious collectors with an opportunity to buy art directly (and ethically) from Aboriginal-owned and incorporated art centres.
In 2016 DAAF hosted approximately sixty Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-owned art centres from across Australia – an astounding number presenting a mind-boggling offering of 2D and 3D arts and crafts. And since I was there I happily wandered around during the three days to check out which art centres were presenting works-on-paper.
Unfortunately I can share only a few images here of the otherwise hugely diverse and incredibly exciting selection that was on display at the Fair. And, to be honest, until then I didn’t fully realise just how many artists and art centres have engaged in printmaking either independently, or with the assistance of a master printer and/or print studio. Worthy of further research!
So, my teaser selection of art centres and works are:
- UMI Arts, located in Cairns, Qld, is an urban-based art centre working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists from Far North Queensland such as Lisa Michl Ko-manggen (etchings) and Paul Bong (vinylcuts)..
- Durrmu Arts in Peppimenarti, NT, had a selection of carving design screenprints by Timothy Martin, Leon Pungili, and Cyril Modikan; and of Naiya Wilson’s dilly bag.
- Yarrenyty Arltere Artists from Alice Springs, NT, brought lovely evocative etchings by Marlene Rubuntja.
- Larrakia Nation Arts in Darwin had this humble linocut by James Gaston that is so reminiscent of old stockmen of bygone days.
- And, a personal favourite that caught my eye was the ‘tunga’ – a bag traditionally carried by women while gathering food – by the late artist Jean Baptiste Apuatimi who worked with master printer Jacqueline Gribbin and Northern Editions to create these two magnificent three-dimensional prints.
Top l-r: James Gaston, At the Show, Linocut, Larrakia Nation Arts; Lisa Michl, Ntarr I, 2009, etching, Umi Arts.
l–r: Timothy Martin, Leon Pungili and Cyril Modikan (Durrmu Arts Aboriginal Corporation).
There were also numerous art centres from WA; however, I hope to blog about them separately next year (in April 2017) when Warlayirti Artists from Balgo, WA, hold a print exhibition at Mundaring Arts Centre to coincide with the annual Revealed – WA Emerging Aboriginal Art Exhibition and Art Market – held at Fremantle Arts Centre. Until then!
Cheers – Laura
PCA Committee Representative, WA.