Two new art exhibitions will begin in Katherine next week.
The official launch will be on August 7 from 6pm.
Wagilak and Ritharrnu Songmen will perform traditional songs live for the audience at the launch.
Artback NT, in association with Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Arts Centre, presents Balnhdhurr - A Lasting Impression at Godinymayin Yijard Rivers Arts & Culture Centre from August 7 to September 12.
The exhibition, displayed in Godinymayin's main gallery, celebrates 20 years of printmaking at the world renowned Yirrkala Print Space based at Buku-Larrnngay Mulka Art Centre in north-east Arnhem Land.
The Yirrkala Print Space, established in 1995, has seen Yolngu artists embrace a variety of printing techniques and mediums with enthusiasm and proficiency over more than two-decades.
Techniques and applications including woodblocks, linocuts, etchings, screenprints, collography and lithography have been utilised to produce a diverse array of stunning prints on paper.
Balnhdhurr - A Lasting Impression features prints by over 50 artists. "Balnhdhurr - A Lasting Impression showcases a diverse range of fine art prints that map the chronological evolution of the Print Space and its activities from the first black and white linocuts produced, to the technically diverse and innovative outcomes of major community projects.
The prints on display are both visually engaging and rich with cultural content providing a wealth of material," Artback NT's executive director Louise Partos said.
"Every print has to be the design of the artist's own clan or connecting clan. The design has to be done very carefully so as not to mix them up, and to understand their story. We have to talk about it with other people in that clan, so when the design is printed there is no problem.
"It's a similar idea to the traditional designs used in the bark paintings and the wood carving, but in printmaking we get the direction from our elders to design the image of the outside story only.
"In the workshop a lot of Yolngu come and watch what we do in the print studio so they can understand the process."
Marrnyula Mununggurr and Mundul Wunungmurra Mununggurr "Balnhdhurr - A Lasting Impression is a vibrant acknowledgement of the creative energies, talent and commitment of generations of Yolngu artists who have utilised and pushed the boundaries of such a medium to share significant cultural and historical stories," Ms Partos said.
"Balnhdhurr is also an opportunity to celebrate the work of Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Centre, one of Australia's most extraordinarily influential and dynamic art centres dedicated to the maintenance and preservation of Yolngu lore and culture."
"Godinymayin is very excited and honoured to be able to host this wonderful exhibition for our community and region to enjoy, learn from and gain inspiration," Godinymayin curator Brendan Penzer said.
Balnhdhurr - A Lasting Impression will be officially launched at Godinymayin by Jayne Nankivell, an expert local printmaker and arts project coordinator who has worked with many Aboriginal arts communities throughout the region.
Featured in Godinymayin's K-Space Gallery, Melabat Wanbala II (following Melabat Wanbala I held at Godinymayin in 2018) by artists from Ngukurr Arts, Walter Kolbong Rogers, Roy Natilma, Norman Wilfred and Wally Wilfred.
Melabat Wanbala, translated from Kriol to English as 'We are one people', like Ngukurr itself, celebrates culture, diversity and collaboration.
Ngukurr is an Aboriginal community located on the Roper River (320 km east of Katherine in the Big Rivers region).
Known collectively as Yugul Mangi, Ngukurr brings together people of many different clans and language groups including Ngalakgan, Alawa, Mangarrayi, Ngandi, Marra, Warndarrang, Nunggubuyu, Ritharrngu-Wgilak and Rembarrnga.
"We are many language groups, but we come together and now we are one people. Our art makes us strong," said Walter Kolbong Rogers, lead artist Ngukurr Arts.
Melabat Wanbala showcases two bodies of work exploring this cultural diversity at Ngukurr.
The first series showcases the artefact and ceremonial artwork of Walter Kolbong Rogers, a Numamurdiri man.
Walter is a master craftsman, head culture man and ceremony leader for his clan. He is also junggayi leader for his mother's country and ceremony.
His contemporary cultural objects contain ancient knowledge and are represented through wulmuwarri (boomerang), mankaburrurna (hooked boomerang), bulbul and ceremonial ornaments and objects.
Walters artefacts of cultural significance will be shown alongside the second series of works in Melabat Wanbala II, by Wally Wilfred and Norman Wilfred representing the Ritharrngu (Yirritja) song cycle, Gulutuk. Gulutuk (pigeon/nightjar) features a series of acrylic paint on acrylic board paintings, which explore the cultural significance, heritage and stories of the Ritharrnu and Wagilak Yolngu peoples.
Ritharrngu and Wagilak are two closely related language groups that represent the two Yolngu moieties, Yirritja and Duwa.
"The series is an important body of work from the Ngukurr Arts collection and was made possible by funding through the Australia Council for the Arts. Together these artworks paint a picture of the complexity and sophistication of the songline cycles.
Accompanying the series of paintings is an audio recording of the songlines and didactic panels with explanations in Kriol and English," explains Jude Emmett, Manager of Ngukurr Arts.
"Not only is this a really special and significant collection of works, at the official opening launch of the exhibition, Wagilak and Ritharrnu Songmen will perform traditional songs for the audience in what will be an amazingly special treat for Godinymayin and the community to witness."
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