Anindilyakwa Arts is a thriving hub of creativity located on the Groote Archipelago in the Gulf of Carpentaria in the Northern Territory. Its program is fully supported by the Anindilyakwa Land Council (ALC) within its Preserving Culture Department and aligned with the ALC’s mission to protect, maintain and promote Anindilyakwa culture.
The diverse arts programs focus on engagement with community and Warnumamalya artists across the Archipelago within Art Centres in Umbakumba, Angurugu and Milyakburra, encouraging a revitalisation of traditional practices for female artists such as mangkurrkwa (pandanus) weaving and string bag making as well as carving and painting by the male artists.
The Men’s Art space in Angurugu engages senior and younger men including artists from Thompson Bay Outstation and the Milyakburra community on Bickerton Island. There has been a revitalisation of bark painting, carving and the making of yiraka (didgeridoos). Activities involve the harvesting of raw materials, promoting the practice of being on Country and revisiting traditional practices to forge pathways for young and old to learn from one another. Anindilyakwa women are increasingly gaining national and international recognition for their contemporary bush dyed textiles and fashion line. This includes screen printed and digitally designed fabrics, seed and seashell jewellery and weavings from pandanus and ghost nets. Their innovative take on traditional fibre arts practice has been showcased in esteemed awards including the Woolhara Small Sculpture Prize, The Ravenswood Women’s Art Award, The Telstra NATSIAA and the National Indigenous Fashions Awards.
Maicie Lalara’s giant monster fish woven from ghost nets and marine debris , titled Yilkwa, is currently touring the NT in the Artback exhibition Groundswell. “I’m weaving a baby monster fish from the nets from our beach on Groote Eylandt,” says the artist. “The net floats from overseas to our beaches. We are using the net to make fish and turtles and baskets. The Anindilyakwa Rangers collect the debris, sort it and give the nets to us art ladies.”
Featured image: Artist Noeleen Danjibana Lalara. Courtesy: Anindilyakwa Arts.