Mabel Juli honoured with Red Ochre Award

The senior Gija artist is recognised for her lifetime achievement in the arts.

Words: Erin Irwin

This year’s Red Ochre Award has been conferred on Gija artist and law and culture woman at Warmun Mabel Juli, presented by the Australia Council for the Arts for her outstanding contributions to the arts and role in increasing the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts. The Red Ochre award is given to senior artists at the First Nations Arts and Culture Awards, with recipients receiving $50,000 to recognise their work, leadership, and contributions to community and culture.

The artist is well known for her use of traditional natural earth pigments to create extraordinary works that reflect on the Garnkiny story and ancestral histories. Her works are held in major public collections, including the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the Art Gallery of South Australia, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the National Gallery, and the Tate in London. She has also been named a finalist in the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (NATSIAAs) a whopping eight times.

The Red Ochre Awards were established in 1993, and past winners have included Yvonne Koolmatrie, John Mawurndjul AM, Destiny Deacon, and Sandra Hill, as well as greats from other areas of the arts such as Djon Mundine OAM, Dr Gary Foley, and Archie Roach AC. This year also saw William Badger Bates take home the prize, a proud Barkindji man whose practice focuses on emu egg carving and printmaking, his work often incorporating his sense of connection with the Barka (Darling River) and Country. The 2024 Dreaming Awards for emerging artists went to writer Meleika Gesa and musician Dean Brady.

This article was posted 18 June 2024.

Image: Mabel Juli Wirroongoon at Warmun Art Centre. Courtesy: the artist and Warmun Art Centre.

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