NT Artist, Visual Arts Northern Territory

KUNWARAL: SHADOWS OF WESTERN ARNHEM LAND

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Presented by Coconut Studios in association with Injalak Arts

An exhibition that reflect the lives of the artists in western Arnhem Land – manifestations of sacred and dangerous spirits who stalk the bush, plants and animals, creation ancestors who brought life and shaped the land and left sources of sustenance and living art practice.

On a country that is alive with spirits that can transmorph from rock engraving to a shadow on the edge of your vision or a sound in the bush calling, leading you astray. Kunwaral is the Kunwinjku word which translates a constellation of concepts: reflection, shadow, drawing, engraving and spirit. This definition gives insight into the associations of meanings in one of the world’s longest lasting creative traditions. Mark-making is closely tied to manifesting characters from stories and country.

Art made in western Arnhem Land is highly figurative and serves to illustrate and define oral-history narratives. Together, the figures in these paintings represent a range of the rich stories that bind artists and country in a continuing cycle of life. Kawaraldi – a shadow/drawing is there, the spirit shadows reflected in the living landscape and the galleries of the vast stone country.

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