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don't ask for stories

The Women from Ernabella and Their Art
Ute Eickelkamp

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This collection of histories, in both written and illustrative form tells the story from 'first missionary coming', atomic bomb tests in 1950 to commercial success in the 1990s. The beautiful batik...

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This collection of histories, in both written and illustrative form tells the story from 'first missionary coming', atomic bomb tests in 1950 to commercial success in the 1990s. The beautiful batiks from Ernabella are exhibited throughout the world and the artists are sought after as teachers in Australia and internationally.

Ernabella Arts is one of the oldest centres of contemporary Aboriginal art, best known for its distinctive design and its use of new and innovative media, like textile art. When asked to explain their designs by those who are unaware of their non-representational nature, the artists say 'don't ask for stories'.

Production Details
  • Paperback
  • 270mm x 210mm x 7mm
  • 88pp
  • Released January 1999
  • ISBN 9780855753108
Contents

How this project came into being
List of contributors
Compiler’s note
Maps
Chapter 1: Living in the Bush
Chapter 2: White Man is Coming (Nura Rupert’s story)
Chapter 3: About Mission Times
Chapter 4: The Story of Ernabella Arts
Chapter 5: Our Lives as Artists
Glossary of terms

About The Author

The publication of this book is timely as the art centre at Ernabella celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1998. With its beginning in the drawing class of the first mission school, which had opened in 1940, and the foundation of the craftroom in 1949 (incorporated in 1974), the Ernabella women’s art school is one of the longest established centres of contemporary Aboriginal art in Australia. It is best known for its outstanding and pioneering achievements in the batik medium, a technique that artists from Ernabella have taught in other Aboriginal communities in isolated areas.

About The Cover

Photocollage by Nyuwara Tapaya

Key to front cover illustration
1. Hooked floor rug by Nyukana Baker, 1990s (Ernabella Arts collection)
2. Gouache on canvas, by Alison Carroll, 1990s (Michelle Swanborough collection, photograph Ute Eickelkamp)
3. Painting, acrylic on canvas by Unurupa Kulyuru, late 1980s or early 1990s (Ernabella Arts collection)
4. Silk painting (detail), by Alison Carroll, 1995 (Ernabella Arts collection, photograph Ute Eickelkamp)
5. Recent acrylic painting on paper, by Tjunkaya Tapaya (Ernabella Arts collection, photograph Ute Eickelkamp)
6. Acrylic painting on board, by Makinti Minutjukur, late 1960s or early 1970s (Ernabella church collection, photograph Ute Eickelkamp)
7. Acrylic painting on board, by Makinti Minutjukur, late 1960s or early 1970s (Presbyterian Church Trust Corporation collection, Victoria, photograph Ute Eickelkamp)
8. Silk batik, by Margaret Dagg, 1994 (photograph Ernabella Arts)
9. Batik by Atipalku Intjalki, 1993 (National Museum of Australia collection)
10. Batik by Nyukana Baker, 1989
11. Batik by Nungalka Stanley, 1989 (Ernabella Arts collection)
12. Batik, artist unknown
13. Birds, feathers and nests/Tjulpuku nyalpu munu manngu, by Nyuwara Tapaya, offset lithographic print on paper (Ernabella Arts collection)
14. Old man waiting for the rain to stop/Tjilpi ngurangka nyinanyi kapiku patara, by Elsie Taylor, offset lithographic print on paper
(Ernabella Arts collection)
15. Night-time, by Elsie Taylor, offset lithographic print on paper (Ernabella Arts collection )
16. My best design/Ngayuku walka wirunya, by Angkuna Kulyuru, 1990s, lithographic offset print on paper (Ernabella Arts collection)
(Most works created in 1989 and 1996 with the exception of 6 and 7, which were probably done in the early 1970s.)

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