On our way in to see the Balenciaga exhibition at the Bendigo Art Gallery we came across this exhibition. I’ve seen some of this batik work before at the NGV in Fed Square. It is quite remarkable. Indigenous women in five distinct communities in Central Australia – Ernabella (Pukatja), Fregon (Kaltjiti), Utopia, Yuendumu and Kintore (Walungurru) – have been working with Indonesian batik forms since 1971. Here are just four photos showing just a tiny part of the whole. The first two are from Ernabella which was the first community to produce this art.

It’s very beautiful; hard to capture well in photographs displayed in this way. It was gently moving in the breeze.

I’m not sure where these two are from.

But they are both striking.

There were artworks by Indigenous women on display accompanying the batik. Here is Pukara, 2004 by Wingu Tingima.

And this is Kalaya wati by Alkawari Dawson.

And this, very famous painting, is Anwerlarr angerr (Big yam) by Emily Kam Kngwarray.

And here’s another by Emily, Kam.

This is a beautiful joint work by four women from the Pintupi and Luritja. It’s called Uwalki.

And here is another joint work, this time by eight Pintupi women. Ngurrapalangu.

These paintings were all on loan from the National Gallery of Victoria. We thought we might get back to look at this exhibition more fully before it closed on 17 November 2019. But life got in the way and we didn’t. So this is all I have to remember it by.


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