Maningrida Arts & Culture
Bongolinbongilinj: a songseries performed at Ankabarrbirri outstation – Pendulum Films/Culture Office Production
Maningrida Arts & Culture is a pre-eminent site of contemporary cultural expression and art-making, abundant with highly collectable art and emerging talent. Located on Kunibídji country in Arnhem Land in Australia’s Northern Territory, the art centre supports hundreds of artists from 32 outstations, 102 clan estates and 12 distinct language groups. Aboriginal people in this region are still on country, surviving and resilient because their country is the centre of their belief system and culture. Empowered by their ancestral connections to country and djang, the eternal, life-giving transformative power of the ancestors, artists from the Maningrida region have created an internationally renowned contemporary art movement that is powerful and enduring.
Over its 50-year history, Maningrida Arts & Culture has supported the careers of several renowned artists, including Yirawala, Peter Marralwanga and Wally Mandarrk. They paved the way for today’s senior artists, including John Mawurndjul, Owen Yalandja, Lena Yarinkura and Bob Burruwal, whose works can be seen in important national collections and institutions. Ways of learning and schools of art in this region are based around a system of passing knowledge and information on to others. The art here has its genesis in body design, rock art and cultural practices, in concert with several decades of collaborations, travel and political action to retain ownership of country. Values and law are expressed through language, imagery, manikay (song), bunggul (dance), doloppo bim (bark painting), sculptures, and weaving. To ensure the maintenance of important cultural knowledge and connection to their homelands, artists make their work from locally harvested natural materials.