Mangkaja Arts

Kimberley Artists, Mangkaja Arts, Painting Country, Desert Lake, General, Art + Environment

Mangkaja Residency 2010 Part 1

Mandy Martin, Mangkaja Residency, June 2010  

This is fourth year I have painted Gooniyandi Country with artists from Muludja and particularly the Cherel family. Everyone seemed to want to come, we had 13 people painting in all, excluding Henry Surprise who took photos for me, and I arrived early after the short drive over the Fitzroy River from Fossil Downs to pick people up. June Davis and Mervyn Street brought their own 4WD, with Travis Leonard driving and Rohnanna Cherel, Jai Cherel, Henry Surprise, Fabian Davis, Tessie Cherabun, Bronwyn Malo and Jane and Ann Halloway all climbing in as well. I took Isaac, Edna and Katrina Cherel along with me for the 2 ½ hour drive out to Painted Rocks on Fossil Downs. We met up with the group of visitors who had been at Fossil Downs Station owner, John Henwood’s 70th birthday in Broome, for smoko and demolished a few slabs of John’s birthday cake made in the shape of a grader and with thick yellow and black icing. The reunion was emotional, Merrilee MacDonald, Fossil Downs descendent, is a fluent Gooniyandi/ Giya speaker. Henry Surprise and Mervyn Street were also pleased to see their old Fossil Downs stockman friends, Bill O’ Dougherty and Peter Gray.

Some of the younger people hadn’t visited Painted Rocks or as Gooniyandi Cherel, named them, Imanara, and spent a long time exploring the site.

The men were very excited to point out the holes where in the old days, they stored their bush tucker to keep it cool and away from predators.

The rock art is ancient and most significant and it was moving to hear a group of people at the site all talking in their own tongue with great respect and excitement.

After exploring the rock paintings and rock markings, we moved back a kilometre or so to a site Mervyn had chosen as we had approached earlier in the morning, everyone set up and painted for some hours except Henry Surprise who took photos for us.

At the end of the afternoon we all went fishing at a nearby spring and the women pulled in perch and bream with out effort it seemed, then cooked them immediately.

The dying hours of the day were spent trying to change a flat tyre, a long and difficult job requiring some real bush skills, we all got home a few hours later than planned. Issac Cherel was just able to show us the red sand, the only for many kilometres around, where the Rainbow Serpent had gone into the ground, before darkness fell.

Kimberley Artists, Mangkaja Arts, Painting Country, Desert Lake, General, Art + Environment

Mangkaja Residency 2010 Part 1

Mandy Martin, Mangkaja Residency, June 2010  

This is fourth year I have painted Gooniyandi Country with artists from Muludja and particularly the Cherel family. Everyone seemed to want to come, we had 13 people painting in all, excluding Henry Surprise who took photos for me, and I arrived early after the short drive over the Fitzroy River from Fossil Downs to pick people up. June Davis and Mervyn Street brought their own 4WD, with Travis Leonard driving and Rohnanna Cherel, Jai Cherel, Henry Surprise, Fabian Davis, Tessie Cherabun, Bronwyn Malo and Jane and Ann Halloway all climbing in as well. I took Isaac, Edna and Katrina Cherel along with me for the 2 ½ hour drive out to Painted Rocks on Fossil Downs. We met up with the group of visitors who had been at Fossil Downs Station owner, John Henwood’s 70th birthday in Broome, for smoko and demolished a few slabs of John’s birthday cake made in the shape of a grader and with thick yellow and black icing. The reunion was emotional, Merrilee MacDonald, Fossil Downs descendent, is a fluent Gooniyandi/ Giya speaker. Henry Surprise and Mervyn Street were also pleased to see their old Fossil Downs stockman friends, Bill O’ Dougherty and Peter Gray.

Some of the younger people hadn’t visited Painted Rocks or as Gooniyandi Cherel, named them, Imanara, and spent a long time exploring the site.

The men were very excited to point out the holes where in the old days, they stored their bush tucker to keep it cool and away from predators.

The rock art is ancient and most significant and it was moving to hear a group of people at the site all talking in their own tongue with great respect and excitement.

After exploring the rock paintings and rock markings, we moved back a kilometre or so to a site Mervyn had chosen as we had approached earlier in the morning, everyone set up and painted for some hours except Henry Surprise who took photos for us.

At the end of the afternoon we all went fishing at a nearby spring and the women pulled in perch and bream with out effort it seemed, then cooked them immediately.

The dying hours of the day were spent trying to change a flat tyre, a long and difficult job requiring some real bush skills, we all got home a few hours later than planned. Issac Cherel was just able to show us the red sand, the only for many kilometres around, where the Rainbow Serpent had gone into the ground, before darkness fell.

Kimberley Artists, Mangkaja Arts, Painting Country, Desert Lake, General, Art + Environment

Mangkaja Residency 2010 Part 2

Mandy Martin, Mangkaja Arts Residency, Fitzroy Crossing, June 2010 This brief residency with artists at the Mangkaja Arts Centre was to consolidate and expand painting in Country with the artists who last year spoke to me about wanting to follow through ideas with me which had grown out of the very successful exhibition at Australian Galleries, Melbourne, November- December 2009.  The full colour catalogue, DVD film and the exhibition had pleased them all and it was important to follow up both from my point of view and from that of the artists. We were all really happy to be able to work together. They all without exception chose the trips into Country as a way of passing on knowledge about Country to their family and me.

I focussed on 3 outstanding artists, Daisy Andrews, John Prince Siddon and Mervyn Street who have all made a quantum leap in their painting since I last worked with them. Along the way I worked with quite a few other artists including Jack Macale, Daisy Andrews son, and 13 artists from Muludja community.

Site 1: Brooklyn Springs, Knununberri

We had two trips to this well known site which Daisy identified as Big Waluk, meaning trees and rock, on the Leopold Road near Daisy Andrew’s husband’s country, Jandamarra. Daisy used to camp here with her husband and everyone met here for ceremonies.

Daisy’s nephew, John Prince Siddon came with us the first trip

Daisy's close kin, Jack Macale a Jandamarra man, came the second time. He is an art award winning artist and cultural guide for his home community, Biridu and he said they bring visitors here first for the smoking ceremony.

The school bus, driven by another of Daisy’s close kin, stopped on the way home from Fitzroy Crossing to Biridu and collected Jack Macale, (back left) and Daisy asked me to photograph her with her family.

The kids all were intrigued with my painting kit!

My final day at Mangkaja I found time to work with John Nargoodah and family on the back verandah at Mangkaja this year because of John’s other work commitments. His daughter, showed great talent in her first even canvas!

Kimberley Artists, Mangkaja Arts, Painting Country, Desert Lake, General, Art + Environment

Mangkaja Residency 2010 Part 2

Mandy Martin, Mangkaja Arts Residency, Fitzroy Crossing, June 2010 This brief residency with artists at the Mangkaja Arts Centre was to consolidate and expand painting in Country with the artists who last year spoke to me about wanting to follow through ideas with me which had grown out of the very successful exhibition at Australian Galleries, Melbourne, November- December 2009.  The full colour catalogue, DVD film and the exhibition had pleased them all and it was important to follow up both from my point of view and from that of the artists. We were all really happy to be able to work together. They all without exception chose the trips into Country as a way of passing on knowledge about Country to their family and me.

I focussed on 3 outstanding artists, Daisy Andrews, John Prince Siddon and Mervyn Street who have all made a quantum leap in their painting since I last worked with them. Along the way I worked with quite a few other artists including Jack Macale, Daisy Andrews son, and 13 artists from Muludja community.

Site 1: Brooklyn Springs, Knununberri

We had two trips to this well known site which Daisy identified as Big Waluk, meaning trees and rock, on the Leopold Road near Daisy Andrew’s husband’s country, Jandamarra. Daisy used to camp here with her husband and everyone met here for ceremonies.

Daisy’s nephew, John Prince Siddon came with us the first trip

Daisy's close kin, Jack Macale a Jandamarra man, came the second time. He is an art award winning artist and cultural guide for his home community, Biridu and he said they bring visitors here first for the smoking ceremony.

The school bus, driven by another of Daisy’s close kin, stopped on the way home from Fitzroy Crossing to Biridu and collected Jack Macale, (back left) and Daisy asked me to photograph her with her family.

The kids all were intrigued with my painting kit!

My final day at Mangkaja I found time to work with John Nargoodah and family on the back verandah at Mangkaja this year because of John’s other work commitments. His daughter, showed great talent in her first even canvas!

Desert Channels, Kimberley Artists, Mangkaja Arts, Painting Country, Desert Lake, General, Art + Environment

Mandy Martin and Mangkaja Artists Painting Fitzroy River Valley 2009

Mandy Martin and Mangkaja Artists Painting Fitzroy River Valley Country 2007-2009 Imanara, Painting Fitzroy Valley Country

Smith St Room catalogue