Wooden Bird Carving by Steven Bara & Felicity Wanambi
This work is a decorative piece made from renewable wood which is usually harvested from the tree in the dry season. The wood is skinned and left to dry for a short period. It is then shaped by a knife or axe. After the surface is sanded smooth the painting begins. The paints used are earth pigments: red (meku), yellow (Gaŋgul) and black (gurrŋan). After an outline of the composition is laid down the painting commences. An alternative to painting the cross hatching is to use a razor to incise fine lines and reveal the light coloured wood underneath.
About Anindilyakwa Arts Centre
“The Land Council started by people coming together to think and talk for the future. They made the art centre in 2005 for all Anindilyakwa people.
Some people were already making art and selling it to Balanda (non-Indigenous people) on the Eylandt. Spears, Woomera, didgeridoo, paintings and baskets.
Now we sell the art to the art centre first, they pay us and sell it on.
The art centre can sell it anywhere, like when we go out to Darwin for the art fair. People love what we’re doing, the bush dye and jewellery.
Balanda (non-Indigenous people) when they buy art straight from our art centre, it’s better. We get good money to build the art centre for the future.
The art centre is for people to come and learn, we learn (teach) new people from the community to make art the old ways.
The art centre is good for community, not everyone is an artist or interested in learning the old ways. It’s important that we teach them so they can make baskets and dilly bags too. The old people left us this for the future.”
- Annabel Amagula, Senior Anindilyakwa Artist
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* Helping to keep the world’s oldest living culture strong