June 2017 Updates

Juluwarlu Artists partnering with five other Remote and Regional Aboriginal Arts Centres

In June, Judith and our volunteer Juluwarlu Arts Coordinator, Jan Teagle Kapetas, travelled to Kununurra’s Warringari Art Centre to participate in the Remote Aboriginal Arts Centres Planning Conference where plans were drawn up for WA Remote Art Centres two year Cultural Futures Partnership Program that Juluwarlu.

UPDATE: In August, we learned that the Cultural Futures Partnership Project will be funded by Country Arts WA.

Nyinyart Yinda Water Arts “Weaving Life” Residency

In late May, Juluwarlu, Cheeditha and Ngurrawaana Artists welcomed our first Artist-in-Residence, Fiona Gavrino. During Fiona’s Residency, more than 20 Juluwarlu artists travelled and camped for 5 days at significant Yindjibarndi Yinda (permanent water sites) along the FortescueRiver – to Birlin Birlin, Gregory’s Gorge and Millstream with Yindjibarndi men who were making a cultural film. On two days, school children from Roebourne High School joined us, and participated in the weaving workshops and cultural learning and teaching. On country, our artists, families and school children drew upon their knowledge of the grasses used by their grandmothers to weave fishing nets and baskets for more than 50,000 years.

From Fiona we re-learned the Old People’s weaving and knotting skills, as our Elders recalled the Bunggaliyarra sisters-in-Law Creation stories that tell of the two sisters who fell from the Pleiades (Seven Sisters) star system during the Ngurra Byujunggamu creation era. The Bunggaliyarra travelled upstream along the Fortescue River to Birlin Birlin, attracted by the singing of the Marrga Creation Spirits. Many stories are told about the Bunggaliyarra, including their weaving of nets.

Inspired by photographs of a basket and net collected in the west Pilbara in the 1880s and stored at the Berndt Museum at the University of Western Australia which Fiona, as a curator, remembered and shared with us, we gathered the yalhirri and nyiiri grasses our ancestors wove with, creating carrying baskets and fishing nets – skills that were lost some 50 years ago, and over the three week residency, both at our artists’ camp and at Juluwarlu’s Arts Space veranda, Fiona’s gift for working in community and on country was hugely appreciated by Roebourne, Cheeditha and Ngurrawaana artists, community women, and young people with more than 30 participants workin gfrom morning till dark nearly everyday of her 3 week residency. REsulting woven works were exhibited and sold at Juluwarlu.

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