The main feature of this group show are new works by Renee Wilson, who has been working on a series of paintings called Ngithhan Ngnma Dulka that, in Lardil language, translates to My Mother Earth.
The highly detailed paintings feature a sinuous ribbon snaking across a field of optically captivating dots that form patterns of shifting surfaces that evoke both the physical and spiritual Earth.
Aerial views of the landscape and the rivers of the Gulf are obvious references in these works but the key reference is to the Mother Earth – the archetypal feminine spirit that pervades the land and connects all that are in and on it.
Also on display are the fun and colourful felt sea animals created by Amanda Jane Gabori, Dorothy Gabori and Elsie Gabori.
Finding Dibirdibi Felt Artworks
Indigenous Art Centre Alliance (IACA) recently partnered with Cairns Regional Council Creative Life to deliver training in exhibition curation and design to the 2021/22 cohort of IACA Indigenous Artsworker Program (IIAP) participants.
During training with CRC staff, IIAP participants; Babetha Nawia (Moa Arts), Tahmana Misick (Moa Arts), Kian Bowen (Hopevale Arts and Culture), Margaret Mara (Wei’Num Arts and Crafts), Matilda Nona (Badu Arts), Flora Au (Badu Arts) & Laurie Nona (Badu Arts) workshopped and formulated how to design an ambitious site-specific exhibition installation for the Court Room space at the Court House.
Incorporating artworks by IACA member, Mornington Island Art Centre, based in the Gulf of Carpentaria, the artists drew inspiration for their design from the nautical subject matter and colourful vibrancy of the works. The exhibition features invitingly tactile, felted wire mesh textile sculptures presented in an innovative display intended to be enjoyed as an immersive experience.
Dibirdibi Story by Coreen Reading
The Dibirdibi is one of the most significant spiritual beings in our Kaiadilt history. Dibirdibi is said to have created Bentinck Island, by slicing the land mass from the mainland; in doing so, he defined Dulkawagned (Bentinck Island) as a country of its own, with its own people, language and lore.
The Dibirdibi continues to be revered by our people, and is recognised as the family totem for the Gabori families, amongst others, with his final resting place being on Bardathurr on Sweers Island, part of the Kaiadilt islands. Although Dibirdibi was revered, in stories still told today, his ego appears to have led him to a not so honourable death.
My elders still speak of how Dibirdibi became a bit overconfident, and somewhat sneaky. He continued to create and manipulate Dulkawagned, beyond what the people agreed to; cutting channels and creating story places, that were not necessarily welcomed by the Kaiadilt occupants. He told the people that he was travelling the land in search of his small son, but would then venture onto country, creating story places and channels.
The Kaiadilt people soon became fed up with Dibirdibi's ways, and in the search of water, they pursued him at his resting place; cutting him apart, throwing his liver onto the rocks below Bardathurr to create perpetual spring for the people.