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GRIFFITH REGIONAL ART GALLERY TO HOST FIRST TOURING EXHIBTION FROM GIRRINGUN ABORIGINAL ARTS CENTRE

Griffith Regional Art Gallery is proud to present Manggan – gather, gathers, gathering, the first national touring exhibition of contemporary works by award-winning artists from the Girringun Aboriginal Arts Centre, in Far North Queensland – opening on Friday 26 April at 6pm.

The Girringun artists’ superbly handcrafted works, displayed alongside collection objects and historic photographs from the South Australian Museum, provide a unique opportunity for people in the Western Riverina to view and engage with the distinctive Aboriginal rainforest art traditions and culture from the Girringun region of far north Queensland.  

"Emerging from a rainforest canopy, Manggan - gather, gathers, gathering is a remarkable collaborative exhibition of contemporary artworks from the Girringun Aboriginal Art Centre and historic collection material from the South Australian Museum,” said exhibition curator Dr Valerie Keenan.

The artists’ ancestral tools, Bagu (body) with Jiman (sticks), were traditionally used to make fire, but today have been transformed into an iconic art form by the Girringun artists. Made from clay, timber and string, and painted with ochres, these artworks evoke the spirit of the old people. 

Dr Keenan said the contemporary objects are instilled with newer values which reflect aesthetic taste, authenticity, economic pressures and an element of nostalgia.

“Displayed side by side, the new and the old, the objects create a dialogue of contrast and of change,” Dr Keenan said.   

Mr Abe Muriata, a Girramay Traditional Owner, said “I am a Girramay man, an artist and a weaver. I make Jawun, the bicornual basket. My work is a culmination of ten years’ essentially re-learning an almost lost craft.”

“One of my Jawun is included in this show, but it pales in comparison to the really beautiful Jawun loaned from the South Australian Museum, honed by thousands of years of craftsmanship,” she added.    

Ray Wholohan, Griffith Regional Art Gallery Coordinator said we feel very privileged to be presenting this exhibition, which is traveling to 13 venues across 5 states.

“We are one of only two galleries in NSW hosting this exhibition of exquisite historical cultural artefacts and contemporary interpretations of these ancient traditional art forms,” said Mr Wholohan.

 “As well as having high aesthetic values this exhibition is also very educational. We particularly encourage local school groups and organisations to visit the exhibition and book a guided tour to gain greater understanding of these unique works.” 

Manggan – gather, gathers, gathering will open at Griffith Regional Art Gallery on Friday 26th March at 6pm. All are welcome and entry is free. The exhibition will be on display until 2 June.

For further information, please contact the Gallery on 6962 8338. Griffith Regional Art Gallery is located at 167 Banna Avenue, Griffith. Gallery hours are Wednesday to Friday 10am to 5pm and weekends from 11am to 2pm.

Manggan – gather, gathers, gathering is a partnership between Girringun Aboriginal Art Centre and the South Australian Museum and is being toured by Museums & Galleries Queensland.

Griffith Regional Art Gallery is a cultural facility of Griffith City Council and is proudly sponsored by McWilliam’s Family Winemakers.

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Featured artists: Daniel Beeron, George Beeron Snr, Maureen Beeron, Theresa Beeron,

Nancy Cowan, Nephi Denham, Sandra Escott, Tonya Grant, Judith Henry, Clarence Kinjun, Doris Kinjun, Abe Muriata, Alison Murray, Debra Murray, Emily Murray, John Murray, Ninney Murray, Sally Murray and Eileen Tep.