WERRKNO: Janet tea towel
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.
Kalidjan began the workshop painting the detail of Namorrorddo, the shooting star spirits, that emit rays ofwhite light from their heads. Beings of a malevolent nature, they live near Mankorlord Outstation. It is here that they transformed into trees, and in doing so covered the outside of the tree’s trunk with their skin. The outer bark of the tree in Kalidjan’s works take the form of black chains or loops, interlinked but changing in direction and scale. When painting the Namorrorddo skin, Kalidjan took herself away from the group to sit alone, silently gazing out over the Djinkarr escarpment, then looking back to the paper, transfixed in the movement of her hand painting this sacred Werrkno. Her considered series of six large format works tell the story of these beings, and in doing so weaves together narratives of the environment, rock caves, white light and significant landmarks of her late husband’s country and clan, Kardbam.
Kalidjan Janet Marawarr is a talented artist predominately working at the Babbarra Womens' Centre printing Janet is renowned for her use of cut out lino tiles which she prints in intuitive repeat patterns on a range of textile surfaces. Janet regards textile design as an opportunity to work with colour and new methods to express her djang (ancestral creation stories).
It wasn't until early 2021 that Janet picked up the manyilk (Bush brush) and painted her first bark painting since the passing of her husband, Dalngadalnga. Using the knowledge, she had from assisting him with his bark painting to painting Namorrorddo, the Shooting star spirit at Mankorlod. When she is not at the women's center printing lino or painting at home she is working for the Maningrida Night Patrol, a community safety service.
Best efforts are made to get your purchase on its way within 2 business days. Postage from Darwin can be slow so please bear with us!
All works are packed securely to protect during shipping. All items valued over $100 are insured for damage during transit.
If you are purchasing multiple works, please email us for custom shipping rates.
Items purchased online that are part of an exhibition will be shipped at the end of the exhibition period.