• WERRKNO: Carol Campion Tea Towel
  • WERRKNO: Carol Campion Tea Towel
  • WERRKNO: Carol Campion Tea Towel
  • WERRKNO: Carol Campion Tea Towel
  • WERRKNO: Carol Campion Tea Towel

Kamanj Carol Liyawanga Campion

WERRKNO: Carol Campion Tea Towel

Regular price   

Four works from the Werrkno series, one from each artist, have been reproduced as tea towels in collaboration with Laundry Gallery. 



During the early burn of Yekke (cold) season, Kalidjan Janet Marawarr, Ngarridjdjan Raylene Bonson, Kamanj Carol Liyawanga Campion and Bulanjdjan Lucy Yarawanga, camped out on top of the Djinkarr escarpment for a week of artistic exploration. Facilitated by Ingrid Johanson, there was no expectation, no outcome or no theme for the trip. Instead it was a chance have uninterrupted time on country, exploring different mediums and developing new artistic skills. 

Overlooking the picturesque flood plain of Gurrgoni Country and camping under the dry season stars, art making was fuelled by sounds and smells of the surrounding savanna woodlands, with country providing an endless source of earth pigment to grind, young leaves and broken twigs to use as painting tools, and charcoal from the fire to create a rich black paint. Artists explored new techniques painting using natural pigments from the earth ground on paper, as well as monochromatic mark making using charcoal and Indian ink.  

As the workshop evolved, the artist's focus shifted to looking closer at cultural narratives and details of ancestral beings - in particular, their bodies and skin. Over the days, the women gravitated towards depicting Werrkno, the Kuninjku work for skin/scales/bark/husks, with each woman depicting Werrkno from her own cultural perspectives.

Kamanj depicts the Barrhmanj^ (saratoga) song line, for which she has cultural authority and responsibility. This story is Djang (ancestral being/creation stories) from Malnjangarnak country. In the creation times, the Barrhmanj jumped over the land, and swapped places with the Wamba (shark). Originally, the Barrhmanj was living in the saltwater and the Wamba was living in the freshwater – they swapped country, and now they live in opposite waters of Arnhem Land country. On the way to Djinkarr for the workshop, Kamanj stopped the troop carrier on the side of the Arnhem Highway to collect earth pigment rocks. The delek, white ochre associated with the faeces of the Rainbow Serpent Ngayod, she selected was naturally flecked with red.

When ground to a powder itcreated soft subtle pink hues, which Kamanj combined with water to generate even more varying hues and consistencies to paint Barrhmanj (saratoga) scales. A senior weaving artist, the delicate lines and repetitious patterning of the scales mirror the looping of hand spun string she uses to make djerrh* (kurrajong fibre string bag).

"This fish is a deeply sacred fish and has healing properties and rituals related with passing away and spirit cleansing. In our Rembarrnga language, "Karriwurlebme Barrhmanj Dhuwa" is a phrase we use during funeral times of Dhuwa people. My brother Kamarrang (kinship name) sings this song line, he knows that song line sung with mako (didjeridu) and clapsticks – only bininj (men) sing that song, but us women we can dance for brolga, ibis and morning star song."
– Kamanj Carol Liyawanga Campion

Kamanj Carol Liyawanga Campion is an incredibly skilled Kune weaver and Lino printer. Born on a remote cattle station, near Bulmun community, where her mother was working at the time, she was taught how to weave baskets and dilly bags, and collect the natural fibres from the bush. This also provided her a strong knowledge of Arnhem Land plants and native wild foods. She is a wealth of information on this topic. Carol now lives with her family on the remote homeland of Buluhkaduru. Carol previously worked as a remote homelands supervisor, managing the Buluhkaduru women’s center.

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Items purchased online that are part of an exhibition will be shipped at the end of the exhibition period.