Territory's northernmost artists join with northern Australia's oldest fine art printing studio 


Collectors, dealers, art lovers, artists, curators and politicians demonstrated their interest and support for printmaking at the opening of Jilamara: new etchings from Melville Island, at CDU’s Northern Editions Gallery on 12 August.

The Territory’s Minister for the Arts, Marion Scrymgour, launched the exhibition which was followed by a ceremonial dance performance by members of artist Alan Griffiths family, representing Waringarri Aboriginal Arts, to celebrate the opening of his exhibition, Alan Griffiths: paintings and prints. Nearly 200 people shared the celebrations.

Red dots were everywhere. Manager of Northern Editions, Emma Fowler-Thomason, anticipates both exhibitions will continue to attract considerable interest from collectors, dealers and the general public.

Prominent interstate collectors were swapping notes with representatives from major national public collections including the National Gallery of Australia’s Brenda Croft (Senior Curator Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art, who officially launched the Alan Griffiths show), Alan Dodge, Director of Art Gallery of WA, Arts adviser, Cathy Cummins from Waringarri Aboriginal Arts, artists Pedro Wonaeamirri, Janice Murray, and Raelene Kerinauia, and arts advisers Danielle Cullen and Stephen Moore from Jilamara Arts and Crafts. Other visitors to the exhibition include Christopher Menz, Director, Art Gallery of SA and former NTU interim Vice-Chancellor [1988 – 1989], David Caro, AO, OBE, from Melbourne.

In her introduction, Minister Scrymgour reminded visitors from down south that although Darwin is regarded as a city that is remote from the rest of Australia, in fact, it is the other way around.
‘It is the rest of Australia that is remote from the centres of the nation’s most important artistic developments and of its finest creative workers. It is the grim, dark, cold cities of Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra — perhaps especially Canberra — that should be seen as remote!

Here today, the Territory’s northernmost artists have joined with northern Australia’s oldest fine art printing studio, Northern Editions,’ she said.

Minister Scrymgour acknowledged that while the Tiwi Islands has been the cradle of the development of printmaking spreading through many other Aboriginal communities and towns, much of the development has to do with the work of Northern Editions.