mane djang karirra: the place where the dreaming changed shape
9 October – 15 December 2023
A Flinders University Museum of Art exhibition with Maningrida Arts and Culture
Presented in association with Tarnanthi Festival
Maningrida is located on the traditional lands of the Kunibídji people at the mouth of the Liverpool River in north central Arnhem Land. The name is an anglicisation of the word Manayingkarírra from the phrase mane djang karirra, commonly translated as ‘the place where the Dreaming changed shape.’ The English name was adopted when a permanent government settlement was established at the site in the late 1950s. Today, Maningrida is a centre for 34 Aboriginal outstations and home to approximately 2,600 people from some 15 language groups.
Maningrida Arts and Culture, one of the nation’s longest-running community-based Aboriginal art centres, provides support to emerging and established artists from the region. The centre fosters diverse and dynamic forms of cultural expression and artmaking, principally bark painting, sculpture and woven work informed by deep and ongoing connections to Country and the Ancestral past.
mane djang karirra focuses on contemporary painting practice reflecting on the relatively recent rise and recognition of women in this realm. It comprises paintings on bark and on carved and woven objects, tracing the impact and enduring legacy of senior artists Dorothy Galaledba, Kay Lindjuwanga, Melba Gunjarrwanga and Lena Yarinkura on the prolific and flourishing community of female painters today. Forging the identity of Maningrida Arts and Culture in the 21st century, these women are maintaining language, knowledge and culture while quietly reshaping the traditions of Arnhem Land art.