NOVEMBER 2023 EXHIBITION / NAARM / MAMINJIRRADA / HOOK SPEAR
THE NT GENERAL STORE / 28 JOHNSTON ST FITZROY
Featuring bold, new work by emerging artists Jarius Herbet, Arthur Herbert, Trexson Herbert, Gabriel Herbert, Dale Herbert and Tanya Wanambi, Maminjirrada is the first exhibition of the Anindilyakwa Arts’ contemporary weaponry revitalisation project.
Featuring predominately maminjirrada (hook spears), accompanied by mabarrkwa (fighting/dancing sticks) and awulmarra (woomeras), all artwork in this exhibition was created on Country, at Four Mile Outstation, located on the east coast of Groote Eylandt in the Gulf of Carpentaria, where the artists live and work.
As a family group, artists drew on contemporary references, such as manga sourced from youtube and social media, in addition to sacred familial narratives and traditional hand carving techniques. The resulting body of work is something both completely new and specific to the Groote Archipelago.
“Every clan had their own hook spear in the old days. The hook spear represents Groote Eylandt and their ancestors. They [the old people] went bush, collecting the timbers and start making maminjirrada – the real name for hook spears. They use only stringybark wood and [carve it] with the pocket knife they got in missionary times."