Artwork inspired by Arnhem Land on show now
IN A remote corner of Arnhem Land sits Yirrkala Print Space, where, for more than 20 years, the ancient craft of printmaking has not only survived, but prospered.
A celebratory exhibition of this print space, Balnhdhurr - A Lasting Impression, is presented by Artback NT in association with Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Centre.
Warwick Art Gallery is honoured to be included in this very special tour.
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.
"Printmaking is a guild craft and there are very few professional printmakers in the country so it is a surprise that a hotspot of this very technical and demanding skill is in remote Yirrkala in Far East Arnhem Land and has been for 20 years,” Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Centre co-ordinator Will Stubbs said.
Artback NT's executive officer Louise Partos agreed.
"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 law and culture,” she said.
With works from 50 artists, the exhibition includes prints that are historically significant.
The Berndt Etchings series talks about the Berndt Crayon Drawings of Yirrkala, produced by the artists' predecessors in 1947, while String Figure Prints are a response to another archaeological collection from 1948.
Pieces in Balnhdhurr also reveal the significant impact the introduction of bright acrylics had on artists, which allowed them to explore a whole new genre of artistic storytelling that became a joyous explosion of colour and expression.
Balnhdhurr is a coming together of cultures and time, providing an opportunity for a wider audience to recognise the accomplishments of a sustainable, functional and thriving print studio operating in an isolated landscape.
Yirrkala Print Space began in 1995 when a purpose-built area was designed to host a printing press.
With over 800 editions by 137 produced through the studio since then, Yirrkala Print Space has become an integral and vital component of the community.
The exhibition will be on display at Warwick Art Gallery from December 14 to January 12.