Calling all Kuku Yalanji artists
TRADITIONAL meets contemporary at the Mossman Gorge Centre’s Art Gallery, where local artists are able to display their artwork and share depictions of their history and culture.
Experienced artist Pam Salt has been working with the Gallery’s new art coordinator, and established artist, Tim Ellis, in a partnership to provide guidance and support for Mossman Kuku Yalanji artists.
Mrs Salt, who i s also an employee of the Mossman Gorge Centre, has just released a new line of various products, including teatowels, silk scarves, tea cups, plates and more, with her original print on them called Dillybag.
‘‘I am very proud for my Dillybags; it was taught to me by one senior traditional custodian of this area, Wilma Walker,’’ she said.
‘‘I also have a butterfly design that depicts stories told to me by Judy Shuan. Judy’s language name is Walbul-Walbul (Butterfly) and that knowledge was passed down on to my daughter. To have two traditional drawings on two products. It’s very important as it’s knowledge passed down from elders.
‘‘Knowing the story behind the two designs, these products are a big achievement that expresses our cultural side. For me, the Dillybag artwork speaks 1000 words.’’
Art Coordinator Tim Ellis said they want to put the call out to all Moss- man Kuku Yalanji artists to get in contact with them to showcase all forms of art.
‘‘Being an artist myself, I think this is a great platform to showcase exciting exhibitions and we want to work with artists to make the best of the opportunity here,’’ he said.
‘‘We don’t just want works to go on the wall, we want to showcase all creative individuals and groups working in all mediums including photography, poetry, stories, sculpture, ceramics, painting, jewellery and textiles. If you are not familiar with us, get in touch and we can work towards developing an exhibition, help sell their artworks and grow the reputation of the artistic community here.’’.’’
Mr Ellis said the offer extends to Yalanji artists who might not be living in the area anymore.
‘‘Some people travel to find their inspiration, if this is their country then this is an opportunity for us to represent them,’’ he said.
‘‘We want to show the local and international communities that we are capable and we have a lot of history here, Yalanji people are unique to the rainforest and the art coming out is very different to traditional art from desert land – it’s relevant to Yalanji people: The rainforest, wet season and nature.’’
If any Mossman Kuku Yalanji people would like to get involved, exhibit their work or find out how to sell their artwork at the Mossman Gorge Centre, they are welcome to have a chat with Pam Salt and Tim Ellis.