Ramingining women keeping culture strong 

Printmaking at Northern Editions: Kathleen, Cecily, Marley and Marggi

Printmaking workshop at Bula'bula Arts Centre: Bobby Bunuggurr, Jimmy Moduk and Cecily Dhalthangu

Ramingining paintings and weavings are sold all over the world from Brisbane to Sydney, Canada and France. This past three weeks, Ramingining women have been producing lino prints and etchings in printmaking workshops at Bula’bula Arts Aboriginal Corporation in Ramingining and on campus at Northern Editions.

Gladys Malibirr, Robyn Djunginy (Malibirr), Shirley Malibirr, Clara Matjandatjpi (Malibirr), Selena Malibirr, Kathleen Malpamba (Dalparri), Marley Djangarri (Dalparri), Marggie Milkirrinfji (Dalparri) and Cecily Dhalthangu are doing a Certificate III in ATSI Cultural Arts in the School of Creative Arts and Humanities at Charles Darwin University (CDU).

Last year Ramingining men did the printmaking workshops and this year it’s the women’s turn. Phillip Gudthaykudthay, Peter Minygululu, Richard Birrinbirrin, Johnny Buniyira Pascoe and Billy Black from last year’s workshops featured in the movie ‘Ten Canoes’.

In the workshops the senior people are working and the young kids are watching. Gladys Malibirr says, “The workshops are keeping the culture strong and teaching the kids they don’t take other people’s traditional totems. You have to use your own totems.”

Printmaking coordinator and lecturer, Leon Stainer says that in the workshops knowledge is passed from father to daughter, father to son, mother to daughter and mother to son. “While the young people are learning technical knowledge, they are also gaining cultural knowledge.

“The older women teach culture to the younger ones and the young ones pick up the new techniques quickly. It works well because the learning is going both ways,” says Leon. While at Ramingining Leon also does a couple of afternoons of printmaking with the school kids.

The workshops also bring financial benefits to the community. Ten to fifteen prints of each work are produced for sale. Most are marketed through Bula’bula Arts Aboriginal Corporation and some are sold on consignment through Northern Editions. The artist receives a percentage of the sale price when they sign the print and the balance when the prints are sold.

Young Selena Malibirr likes doing the workshops, “So we know how to paint and write our stories.” Selena has also done a Certificate II in Bookkeeping with CDU and worked in the office at Ramininging doing typing, faxing forms and answering phones. She would like to come back to CDU to do more study next year.

For further information contact:

Leon Stainer: 08 8946 7044 or email leon.stainer@cdu.edu.au  (www.cdu.edu.au/northerneditions)
Bula’bula Arts Aboriginal Corporation: bulabulaarts@bigpond.com  (www.bulabula-arts.com)
Linda Cuttriss, Coordinator Community Engagement: 08 8946 6336 or email linda.cuttriss@cdu.edu.au