Women in Colour will be on view at Cooee Art Paddington from 8-30 March 2019, officially opening on International Women’s Day, March 8th 6 pm.
In the 1990s, Aboriginal women emerged to become the dominant force in Australian art and carried the movement toward international acclaim. This parallels the growing strength and influence of women in contemporary discourse and the arts on the global stage. In this revolutionary period our history, we have come to expect a more equitable gender balance from the home to the halls of power.
In conjunction with International Women’s Day and Art Month 2019, Cooee Art presents Women In Colour, curated by its Director, Mirri Leven. Leven has selected works from communities across Australia in order to illustrate distinctive relationships to their culture, country and each other. These works provide an insight into the life, concerns and responsibilities of female Indigenous artists in contemporary Australia. The exhibition comprises works by individual Indigenous women artists, and collaborative pieces that emphasise the connections between groups of women belonging to the same land, community and culture. The works in this exhibition, not only explore this interconnectedness, but also posit all of these female artists firmly into the #balanceforbetter conversation presented by International Women’s Day.
This exhibition is an opportunity to hear these female voices loud and singing. It is bright and fun and show women in a positive affirmative light. We are talking about the energy, power and passion that women have for their country, for their language, and for their stories. As they paint they pass all of this on to their children, before their artworks travel beyond the borders of their communities to inspire and delight a national and international audience. Indigenous women are incredibly strong and resilient. Their alluring and inspirational artworks speak with an ancient voice – Mirri Leven
The painting selected to be the ‘hero’ in this exhibition is a collaborative piece by the Kaltjiti Womens Collaborative, entitled Ngura. It was chosen by Leven while in Alice Springs in a serendipitous magical moment when a butterfly landed on the painting. Ngura was created by eleven clanswomen in collaboration as they sat surrounding the work according to the direction of each person’s homeland country. The combination of different styles and stories create a rich tapestry of colour and mark making. It relates an epic tale that encompasses different Dreamings, landmarks, stones, trees, rocks, and soakages. The Seven Sisters Dreaming passes through this country linking the creation stories of all the sites, rock holes and soakages that are depicted.
This exhibition includes artworks from across the Central, Tanami and Western Deserts, reaching beyond into Australia’s far north and urban centres. Included amongst the artists are Kitty Napanangka Simon and Myra Nungarrayi Herbert from the Warlpiri community in Lajamanu, NT; east coast artists Karla Dickens, Lorraine Austin and Robyne Latham; the late Sally Gabori from Far North Queensland and Emily Kame Kngwarreye from Utopia, NT; Athena Nangala Granites from Yuendamu, NT; and women from the APY Lands (Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands) in SA.