THIS TIME it is not about politics or economics.

Cultural Landscapes: Recent Prints from North-Central Arnhem Land presents 30 paintings with indigenous themes—a collaboration of two art centers, namely the Maningrida Arts and Culture and Northern Editions.

Maningrida Arts and Culture is a community-based art center with over 250 aboriginal artists from the Maningrida and surrounding communities in the northern coast of Australia at the mouth of the Liverpool River.

Northern Editions is a custom printing business that conducts workshops on campus or in remote areas in Arnhem Land and central Australia.

The artists in this collection displayed expertise in etching, screen-printing and lino-cutting mediums.

Rarrk or cross-hatching characteristic of bark painting was used as infill in the figurative works of Timothy Wulanjbirr’s “Barramundi” and Michael Gadjawarias’ “Catfish”. Abstract imagery is the subject of Johnny Bulunbulun’s “Body Designs” and George Ganyjibala’s “Spearheads”. In line with some legendary representations, there is England Banggal’s “Wangarra Spirit Figures” and Lena Kurniya’s “Mimih Spirit”. Vicky Brown’s “Burba” (Water Lily), Susan Marawarr’s “Short-necked Turtle” and Lena Kuriniya’s “Karrba, Kohlbun” (yam, fish poison plant) gave hints of nature.

The exhibit reflects the strength of contemporary indigenous culture through totemic representations, clan designs, and spirit figures that transmit ritual and mythological knowledge of Australia.

A reconciliation in progress as well, these prints are part of the people and their movement and struggle to be treated right. It depicts the artists’ dare to dream and hope for reconciliation for the Australian people.

You can catch Cultural Landscapes: Recent Prints from North-Central Arnhem Land up to August 9 at the Australia Centre, Salustiana D. Ty Tower in Makati City. Jhervy C. Nuez

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