Arts & Culture
Those successful artists of previous times… I learnt from them all and put the knowledge into my brain – the cross-hatching style but also their paintings on rock. I am painting differently, always changing. We are the new people. We new people have changed things.
John Mawurndjul, Kuninjku artist, winner of the Clemenger Contemporary Art Prize
There are few places in the world where there is a continuing culture of interaction with ancestral lands. Arnhem Land is one such place, and the homelands surrounding Manayingkarírra/Manawukan/Maningrida are intrinsic to the vital arts and culture of Aboriginal people of the region.
The arts and culture division of Bawinanga Aboriginal Corporation encompasses three significant cultural entities:
- Maningrida Arts and Culture Centre (Aboriginal community art centre)
- Bábbarra Women’s Centre (including Bábbarra Designs)
- Djómi Museum and Cultural Research Office
Together we promote, protect and celebrate the artistic and knowledge-based cultural assets of the people of the many clans of Western Arnhem Land.
Cultural strength, respect for customary rights, and connection to country are founding principles. Our priorities, activities, protocols and policies are directed by an Arts and Culture Subcommittee of senior artists from different clans, and Bawinanga board representatives.
We support bunggul (dance), manikay (song), doloppo bim (bark painting) and kun-madj (weaving) as expressions of djang, the life-giving creative power that resides in the enduring ancestral presence in sacred places on the country of the region’s many clans.