Australian aboriginal textile artists hold first exhibition Jarracharra at the Indian Museum 

The indigenous textile exhibition will run from from December 15 to January 22, 2023.
Jarracharra exhibition at the Indian Museum
Jarracharra exhibition at the Indian Museum

The Australian Consul General in Kolkata, in collaboration with the Indian Museum, is proud to present a remarkable collection of textile works by 17 artists from Maningrida in western Arnhem Land in the north of Australia, that will run from December 15 to January 22, 2023.

Jarracharra: Dry Season Wind comprises suspensions of hand-printed fabrics through which the artists of the Babbarra Women's Centre pay homage to their ancestral lands and the sacred stories of their peoples; it carries a message of cultural diversity as a factor in reconciliation between peoples. Print-making is a modern medium, introduced in Arnhem Land in the 1970s. Working with textiles has allowed the artists to explore contemporary approaches to convey traditional themes. The artists at Bàbbarra draw constant inspiration from their country and each fabric tells a different story.  

One of the prints showcased at the exhibition
One of the prints showcased at the exhibition

The Bábbarra Women’s Centre is situated in the small and remote Aboriginal community of Maningrida, perched on the Arafura Sea coastline, 500 kilometres east of Darwin in Australia’s Northern Territory.  It is home to 80 clan groups, many who still live on their ancestral homelands.  It is one of the most linguistically diverse communities in the world.  The name Maningrida is derived from mane djang karirra, meaning ‘the place where the ancestor spirit changed shape’ in the Ndjébbana language. “Djang” is a term relating to the ancestral beings and powers of country – among the artists’ designs, certain sites and objects depicted are associated with “djang”.  

Today, Bábbarra supports more than 25 artists, and has produced 80 screen designs. The screens range from one colour to four colour designs and reflect imagery from a diverse range of Arnhem Land country and cultures. This exhibition features textile designs created by 17 artists and a three more artists have contributed to framed prints.

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