Nagula, wula, ngaba, nyingarn | Exhibition 22 Mar – 18 May 2024

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AACHWA + Lawson Flats present 

NAGULA JARNDU [SALTWATER WOMAN]

Nagula, wula, ngaba, nyingarn

(Saltwater/freshwater in Yawuru, Bardi/Mayala, Kija/Jaru and Noongar)

This exhibition highlights the work of four Nagula Jarndu artists: Dena Gower (Noongar), Martha Lee (Yawuru-Karajarri), Rowena Morgan (Kija), and Cecilia Tigan (Mayala). The artwork, presented in various printed media, explores the theme of water and its cultural significance on the artists’ respective countries. The convergence of salt and freshwater reflects the seasonal changes and the impact water has on the land, and the diverse flora and fauna inhabiting these waters. 

Opening Thursday 21 March 2024, 5.30pm – 8pm | >> RSVP Here
Exhibition continues until Saturday 18 May 2024

Lawson Gallery
4 Sherwood Court, Perth
Mon – Fri 10am – 6pm, Sat 12pm – 6pm, closed Sun

Image: Martha Lee, Mangalagun (Crab Creek), 2024, screenprinted fabric. Image courtesy of Nagula Jarndu. 

Exhibiting Artists

Dena Gower

Dena was born on Balladong and Wadjuk Country and grew up on Wilman Country in Narrogin where she spent time learning from her elders and visually recording this knowledge in her art, teaching herself how to paint with acrylics on canvas. Dena married into Yawuru family and moved to Rubibi, Broome with her family in 2022 and joined Nagula Jarndu to continue her art practice and connect with like minded women. She has quickly created a portfolio of carved ‘blocks’ to print from and is continuously producing new imagery to create her prints. Dena’s printing style is very loose and joyous and her work speaks to her happy disposition and the generous spirit she brings to the art centre each day. She tells stories about important aspects of her time growing up on Noongar Wadjuk in Narrogin. She is particularly drawn to the animals and plants from her country and the spiritual connections between all living forms.

Martha Lee

Martha is one of Nagula Jarndu’s senior artists and has been with the art centre for over 15 years. Martha’s work is strongly influenced by the six Yawuru Seasons- Laja. Man-gala, Marrul, Wirralburu, Barrgana and Wirlburu and she creates work built around what is happening during that time- bush tukka and medicine that is in season, weather patterns, fishing and hunting events and animal life. She has been taught to respect these seasonal changes and listen to what the country is telling you to do during that time- what food to eat, where to camp, tides to fish etc. Martha has a strong sense of pattern and linework in her art and uses these elements to speak to the patterns she sees on country-tidal lines, wind tracks in the desert sand or marks made by creatures as they travel across the land and sea.

Rowena Morgan

Rowena was born in Wyndam and grew up on Kija Country in Halls Creek. She remembers spending time as a child sitting down in the dirt painting with her Grandmother, who taught her about important Kija knowledge and the stories she should paint. Rowena began learning printmaking at Nagula Jarndu in 2014, transferring her painting skills into block and screen-printed designs. Her artwork draws on aspects of her custodial country- The Lansdowne Ranges region of the East Kimberley-dry desert country, rocky riverbeds, spinifex grasslands and winding hillscapes and waterholes (full and drying up) and the creatures that inhabit these places. Rowena’s textiles are highly sought after and her choice of ochre and muted tones connects audiences further to her country and the specific colours it evokes. She is also a part-time artworker at Nagula Jarndu, facilitating artist studio support and skills development.

Cecilia Tigan

Cecilia joined Nagula Jarndu in 2022 when she moved to Broome with her family. She was born in Ardyloon/One Arm Point on the Dampier Peninsula where she spent her childhood. Her work is strongly influenced by her late father, the renowned riji (ceremonial pearl carving) artist Aubrey Tigan whose shells are held in galleries and museums around the world. Like her father, Cecilia tells stories of her Mayala heritage, collecting pearl shells on the high tide, whirlpools and tidal movements, ancestral connections, traditional hunting techniques and tools and ocean food and medicine. She has strong connections to her Mayala heritage and is passionate about the recording and maintenance of Mayala language and respectful cultural practices that ensure the integrity of her heritage is continued.

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