Natsiaa 2022: Indigenous Artist Rarru Wins First Prize for Handwoven Sails | Indigenous Art

The “monumental” handwoven Pandanus sail, symbolizing the centuries-old relationship between Arnhem Land’s Yolngu and its Indonesian neighbours, Makassan, was awarded the prestigious National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award (Nazia). I won the first prize.

After months of daily work, Margaret Lal Garaula, a senior Yolngu artist from Ranala, Arnhem Land, has created a stunning 2.8m high handwoven pandanus sail.

Galaula, who won the Bark Painting Award in 2005, said she was “proud and happy” to win the $100,000 main prize for Domara (Pandanas Sails). An enduring relationship between the Yolngu people and the Makkasan.

The winning 2.8m high handwoven pandanus sail is on display in Darwin. Photo: Mark Sherwood/MAGNT

“I was with my sisters when I found out I won. We were very happy. .

“The Yolngu people saw the Makassans weaving. Domara Over time…then they started making them. My father also acquired skills. he was making them

“My father and I started thinking and remembering how he made them, and now I’m making these.”

The sail features a distinctive black-dyed pandanus stripe. As a senior weaver at the Milingimbi Art Center, Rarru knows the recipe for creating black. Mole (dye) she uses – use with Mole Reserved for her and others she authorizes.

A colorful painting by D Yunuping with pink flowers and some abstract figures on a large piece of cloth.
D Yunuping won the Burke Award for his colorful reenactment of the mermaid story. Photo: Mark Sherwood/MAGNT

According to Rarru, it took several months to collect the pandanus and dyes last July and weave them “daily, morning to night” from October to March.

The Natsiaa jury said the work was “a monumental sculpture of both majestic scale and rigorous technical virtuosity”.

Jury members Miles Russell Cooke and Dr. Joanna Berkman said, “Her work is a reminder that Yolngu was an active and intrepid explorer, participating in international trade long before the arrival of Europeans. It’s a powerful piece that will make you feel good,” he said.

The winner for the work on paper was Lalakia artist Gary Lee for his beautiful portrait of his grandfather adorned with white flowers.

The late D Yunuping, from Yurkala, won the Bark Award for his playful retelling of an important mermaid story. This story is also the story of her father’s relationship with the traditional maritime nation. Yunuping, who like her sisters became a master painter in her later years, used the vivid magenta of printer cartridges to create a background in which a ghostly mermaid sits, sea creatures and a night sky. represent a star.

From the Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Arts Centre, Merrkiawuy Ganambarr-Stubbs accepted the award on behalf of the beloved ‘Mermaid Lady’.

“Mermaids are spirits that appeared to my grandfather, her father, when they lived on Wessel Island in the late 1930s,” said Ganum Stubbs.

Gananum-Stubbs said the painting captures Yunuping’s enthusiastic spirit.

“[In the painting room] I could always hear her laughing across the room and she would always say, “Wow!” That was her favorite word.

“If she were here, this is what she would say: ‘This is great!'”

Darnley Island native Jimmy Tyday won a multimedia award for his video about the impact of climate change on his island and a nearby sand key that is now almost entirely underwater. Thaiday said the $15,000 award will help do more work to address the climate change crisis in the Torres Strait.

“If the younger generation feels helpless about climate change, stand up and speak up,” Tiday said. “It really impacts our sand locks, the breeding season for animals, birds and plants, and our ability to go there and talk to young people about our traditions.”

The installation at Natsiaa 2022 is a figure displayed in a case in front of a poster painting.
Some of the works exhibited as part of Natsiaa 2022. Photo: Mark Sherwood/MAGNT

Rebekah Raymond, Curator of Aboriginal Arts and Material Culture at MAGNT, said there were 63 finalists from across Australia, representing more than 44 different countries and language groups.

“This year we see the return of strong, tangible, handcrafted pieces – sculpture, ceramics and weaving – that celebrate working with our hands in an intimate way.” Raymond said.

“During Covid, life has slowed down a bit. There has been a return home for many artists in the north of the continent, which has allowed them to consider things, practice in new ways, and scale up. It gave me more time to expand and get back to what I was doing all the time.”

  • Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award (Nazia) exhibition It will take place from 6 August 2022 to 15 January 2023 at the Northern Territory Museum and Art Gallery in Darwin. detail:

Natsiaa 2022: Indigenous Artist Rarru Wins First Prize for Handwoven Sails | Indigenous Art

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