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Canberra Today 16°/18° | Sunday, December 10, 2023 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

Eight remote artists tell stories through ceramics

Judith Inkamala, Hermannsburg, Northern Territory

A NEW ceramic art exhibition opening today (April 17) at the Nishi Gallery in NewActon highlights the works and stories of eight artists from remote indigenous communities around Australia.

The works are the result of a new residency program at the ANU and form part of the “Berder. Gaba. Urrknga. Wantja.” exhibition.

The artists’ ceramics are decorated to illustrate the traditional stories and lives of their respective communities.

Judith Inkamala, for instance, lives in the Hermannsburg Aboriginal community 125 kilometres southwest of Alice Springs and has been making ceramic art for more than 30 years.

One of her pieces depicts an intricate representation of “bush medicine”, which she said a type of ointment made from camel fat, rubbed on the skin to sooth cuts, bruises and sore muscles.

The residency is run by Joanne Searle of the ANU School of Art and Design Ceramics Workshop, who said the residency allowed artists from communities around Australia to share skills, stories and techniques that have been passed down from generation to generation.

“Together the artists have travelled more than 18,000 kilometres to be here from some of the most remote parts of Australia,” she said.

“They are very open to talking about their work and our students have been able to watch and learn from the artists.”

The residency program consists of established and emerging artists from four remote community art centres – Erub Arts of Torres Strait Islands, Girringun Aboriginal Art Centre of Cardwell in Queensland, Hermannsburg Potters in the Northern Territory and Ernabella Arts in the far northwest of South Australia.

“BERDER. Gaba. Urrknga. Wantja”, Hermannsburg Potters and Ernabella Arts, Nishi Gallery, 17 Kendall Lane, NewActon, 11am to 6.30pm, until June 1.

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Ian Meikle, editor

Helen Musa

Helen Musa

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