In association with Ngaruwanajirri, Nguiu, Bathurst Island, Northern Territory

12 March to 12 April 2008

Following highly successful exhibitions in 2004 and 2006, Alison Kelly Gallery is pleased to present new works of artists from Ngaruwanajirri Inc., located at Nguiu on Bathurst Island in the Northern Territory.

Ngaruwanajirri is a Tiwi word meaning ˜helping one another’, a fitting name for the art centre which was established in 1994 to provide a focus and source of independent income for disabled people on the Tiwi Islands. The caring environment created by the centre’s founders, John and Joy Naden, proved so appealing that both disabled and non-disabled Tiwi artists now attend the work shed, known as Keeping House, every day.

Ngaruwanajirri Inc has produced exciting talent in recent years, with their works being selected for the National Aboriginal Art Awards at the Northern Territory Museum and Art Gallery and being included in touring exhibitions throughout Australia and in public and private collections both locally and overseas. The coordinators pride themselves on the quality of the materials and training they provide but in keeping with their philosophy, they refrain from dictating to the artists or judging the works.

The richness and diversity of Tiwi island life, with its continuing commitment to cultural practices and the lasting influences of strong links to the Macassan traders from Indonesia is evidenced in their distinctive paintings and sculptures. The artists draw on traditional Tiwi ceremonial markings, reflected in the abstract, geometric designs and ritual dots that feature in these works. Motifs of the animals and sea creatures central to Tiwi island life are captured on many of the works, all rendered using natural ochres in warm, earthy tones.

The numerous influences and inspirations for these works and the fact that individuality is highly prized in Tiwi culture provides collectors an opportunity to engage with work that is innovative, varied and unique.

1 Albert Street
Richmond, VIC, 3121
Telephone: 9428 9019