[by Liz Inglis]
Aurukun’s Wik and Kugu artists learn new techniques
Male and female artists at Aurukun’s Wik and Kugu Arts Centre have been upskilling with workshops helping them prepare to launch their own merchandise and participate in a national touring exhibition.
Aurukun Shire Council Mayor Dereck Walpo said the artists would launch a range of hand-printed quality cotton t-shirts, bags, linen aprons and tea towels this month.
“Featuring designs representing totems relating to the artists’ clan country, this merchandise will initially be available at the Arts Centre in Aurukun,” he said.
“A second series of merchandise designs will be available from late May in Cairns and at the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair in July.
“The designs were created during a workshop in Aurukun with Master Printer Sam Tupou which was made possible by the support of Arts Queensland.
“The work of Aurukun’s artists will feature in Belonging, a national touring exhibition in 2020 that will also travel to London.
“As part of their preparations for the exhibition, artist Edwina Circuitt was in residency at the Wik and Kugu Arts Centre to help the artists improve their studio practice, workflows and systems.
“This included grinding ochre and mixing it with binders to develop local paint bearing the striking colours of Aurukun and learning how to stretch and paint Belgian linen.
“Arts Centre Manager Sabine Hoeng has been looking for new opportunities for the artists to showcase their work and to build relationships with national and international galleries and collectors.
“As a result the Wik and Kugu Arts Centre has been invited to present a selection of works at the Sydney Contemporary, Australasia’s International Art Fair on September 12-15.
“Acclaimed artist Alair Pambegan will present a large three-dimensional installation of 34 painted carvings relating to the Bonefish Story Place (Walkaln-aw) at the Cairns Art Gallery Biennial Exhibition ARTNOW FNQ 2019 from December 2019 to February 2020.”
The Wik & Kugu Arts Centre consists of a men’s art studio with work shed, a women’s art studio named Akay Koo’ Oila and a Gallery. Visitors are welcome.
Wik and Kugu artists Vicky Yunkaporta, Judy Pamtoonda, Rachel Pamtoonda and Marina Pootchemunka have developed new art skills after workshops in Aurukun. Image: Edwina Circuitt
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