Story by Jack Foley
MANINGRIDA, Australia, is a hub of artistic activity, representing at least nine different language groups. On a per capita basis, it is one of the most linguistically and culturally diverse regions in the world, which is reflected in the art work of the region.
In a bid to showcase some of this work, the Rebecca Hossack Gallery in
London is hosting Mother Tongue - Aspects of Aboriginality, an exhibition
which blends the photographic work of Gerald Jenkins, the official photographer
for the Aboriginal involvement in the Sydney Olympic Games, with a collection
of Maningrida Bark Paintings and sculpture, as well as some of the finest
Yirdaki (didjeridus) from Arnhem Lands North Eastern region.
The bark paintings on show are done in distinct eastern and western styles, while the sculpture from the region includes Mimih Spirits (tricksters living in the Stone Country) and Lorrkkon (hollow log coffins).
In 1988, Maningrida and Ramingining artists collaborated to create the Aboriginal Memorial, an installation of 200 of these coffins as a memorial to all Aboriginal people who have lost their lives defending their land since 1788. It is now housed at the Australian National Gallery in Canberra.
The Yirdaki (didjeridu) is endemic to the Arnhem Land region and is as varied in style as the Bark Painting from the same area.
The Mother Tongue exhibition will focus on the longer Yirdaki, from the Galpu Clan of North East Arnhem Land, as these magnificent instruments have been carefully selected before being finely tuned and decorated in secret/sacred clan designs.
exhibition runs from August 8 until September 7 and looks set to be one of
the capitals hidden treasures for anyone with a passion for all things
Australian, or those seeking to broaden their artistic horizons on a global
RHG, 35 Windmill Street, London W1T 2JS. Tel: 0207-436 4899
Opening hours: Monday - Saturday, 10am - 6pm
The Charlotte Street Gallery, 28 Charlotte Street, London, W1T 2NA
Tel: 020 7255 2828 Fax: 020 7580 2828
RELATED LINKS: Click here for the Rebecca Hossack website...
GUIDE TO PICTURES: Main picture shows an example of a Maningrida Bark Painting, while on the right are a collection of Yirdaki (didjeridus).
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