The Mellon Indigenous Arts Initiative and the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection will welcome Raymond Bulambula (Wobulkarra) and Joyce Naliyabu (Gurryindi) for a three-week residency from September 15th to October 7th. Bulambula and Naliyabu are both artists and senior knowledge holders from Milingimbi, a small island off the remote northern coast of Australia where artistic practice inhabits a prominent place in community life. Bulumbula is a painter whose work has been purchased by several major public and private collections in Australia. Naliyabu is a weaver of fish traps, dilly bags, and mats. The couple also works together on joint projects such as making Banumbirr (Morning Star poles). Both artists are affiliated with Milingimbi Art and Culture, one of Australia’s premier Aboriginal art and culture organizations.
For the duration of their residency, Bulambula and Naliyabu will stay at the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection where they will work alongside curatorial staff to ensure the accuracy of cultural records in the museum’s catalogue and to prepare an exhibition of artworks from Milingimbi. They will also visit UVA grounds to lecture on the art and culture of Milingimbi and to demonstrate their techniques for students. Naliyabu will also be conducting fiber workshops on-site at the University of Virginia and with First Nations people in Washington, D.C.
The residency will culminate in an exhibition of new works named ‘Gapu Murnuk’ at the Australian Embassy in Washington, D.C. on the night of the October 3rd, 2017. The exhibition will feature contemporary works including Larrakitj (ceremonial poles), paintings on bark and paper, fiber works, and carvings by Bulambula, Naliyabu, and fellow Milingimbi artists George Dangi, Judy Lirrinyin, Helen Ganalmiriwuy and Margaret Rarru.
This program is made possible with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection, and the College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Virginia. For more information regarding Raymond Bulambula and Joyce Naliyabu’s visit, please contact Amanda Wagstaff, email@example.com, or Henry Skerritt, Curator of Indigenous Arts of Australia, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos: Raymond Bulambula (left) and Joyce Naliyabu (right). Coutresy of Milingimbi Art and Culture.
Photos, clockwise from top left: Raymond Bulambula, Joyce Naliyabu and Kluge-Ruhe director Margo Smith discuss paintings in the museum collection; Curatorial Talk with guest Robin McKenzie; Joyce Naliyabu demonstrates weaving techniques for UVA students; Raymond Bulambula works with a UVA art student on a Marratjirri "Morning Star" Pole. All photos cortesy of the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection.