artworks and artists


Kayili Artists, Patjarr Art Centre, Gibson Desert in collaboration with Tjampi Desert Weavers

piti colomoons and cots

TJAMPI prints

In collaboration with Kayili Art Centre in Patjarr and Tjanpi Desert Weavers. 
Artists : Katie Ward, Ruth Bates, Manupa Butler, Nancy Carnegie from Patjarr and Giorgia Severi from Italy
Project facilitator: Joanna Foster and Tjampi Desert Weavers

These artworks made from two different cutural viewpoints share the regenerative process of visual storytelling about womens stories, mothers and babies and grandmothers of both cultures. The theme of motherhood, woman, womb, birth, bonding, family, origin, tradition. The mother is the guardian and giver of life. The grandmother is, as well, the keeper of culture that has been handed down, passed on from generation to generation. Similar archetypal forms and objects are apparent in different cultures. They wear different clothes but the essential themes are often similar. Women and mothers and grandmothers of the world have in common giving birth followed by old age and death, and in life they strive to maintain and nurture their traditions and culture, an increasing struggle that is recognised and lamented all over the world. KAPARLIKU in Ngaanyatjarra language means belonging to grandmothers, and this work is dedicated to grandmothers of all cultures all over the world. Women throughout history have used and still use baskets as cots for their babies. Here, in the Australian desert, women up to a generation ago used the piti, carrying dishes carved from wood or fashioned from tree bark, to carry food and water, often walking long distances carrying these provisions on their head. These dishes were also used as cribs for babies and young children. The Italian grandmothers until a couple of generations ago used to make wicker baskets to carry kids. My grandmother tells me stories of her life in the mountains going to the river to collect river canes to make cradles to carry her children, my mother and her siblings, from home to the fields. At Patjarr, women tell stories about walking from waterhole to waterhole using wooden dishes they have carved to provide food and shelter for their familes. We collected tjanpi, grass from the desert, and used it to make sculptures to pay homage to these womens’ vessels.

Aboriginal people of the Western Desert in Australia use fire in a special way to manage the environment and the landscape, controlling burning in patches to build the soil, seeds and plants, to encourage the seasonal movement of animals and keep the environment clean and open for hunting. The landscape is blackened in these burnt areas. Tjanpi and spinifex burn quickly and the charred remains of bushes appear as black points on red soil. Clumps of collected tjanpi are inked up and printed, and like the charred grasses in the landscape, fix a moment in a cycle of nature. The memory of a constantly changing and regenarating landscape surrounds you. 
Giorgia Severi print the grass to fix the impression of the sorrounding landscape on paper.

 Tjampi, Giorgia Severi, prints ink on paper, 1/1 each, 50x70cm, 2014


Balgo Art Centre, Wirramanu Community, Tanami Desert
Artists: Jimmy Tchooga Tjapangarti, Helicopter Joey Tjungurrayi, Larry Gundora Tjanpanangka, Daniel Rockman, Joan Eve Nagomara Naparrula, Tossie Baadjo Nangala 
Project facilitator: Sheryl Anderson and Ali Buckley 
Sand drawing: Joan Eve Nagomara Naparrula
Sound recording: Giorgia Severi 
Sound editing: Giovanni Lami

NAKKARA NAKKARA, Joan Eve Nagomara Naparrula, 2015, sand drawing, 150x150cm
WIRRAMANU,  Larry Gundora Tjanpanangka, 2014/15, 150x100cm, ocher painting on linen canvas ( on the wall)

Moundu means white stone in Kukaja language. Artist and chairman of Balgo, Jimmy Tchooga Tjapangarti in an interview tells about this stone and he talks with Daniel Rockman about Tjukurpa, so called “Creation Time or Dreamtime”: the great ancestral beings travelled across the land performing remarkable feats of creation and they formed the landscape as we know it today. Tjukurpa is the past, present and future, and governs every aspect of behaviour – the relationship between people, plants and animals, and the physical features of the land and how it is used and teach people how to live harmoniously with each other and the land. The principle of Tjukurpa is that people and the landscape are inextricably one. Nakkara Nakkara is the sand drawing made by artist Joan Eve Nagomara Naparrula and it's women's Tjukurpa story. Larry has painted his country around Balgo (Wirramanu). The painting shows two layers of the land. The circles in the top layer being the sandhills and the Kanti ( bush potato) found in the area.The dark lines underneath show the rich minerals in the deeper layer of the earth. These minerals could be oil, gold, iron ore etc

Nakara Nakara, Bunin Bunin Tjurkurpa (Women’s Dreaming)
All the women were living underground with the fresh water, the waterhole. They were living in the darkness until they saw the light up high. They climbed out of that hole towards the light and saw the trees standing up growing, sun shining, everything beautiful, birds singing. The beginning of everything. They were so happy. They danced around that inta (living water) happy and celebrating their new lives. Then they all went dancing in diffferent directions, north east west and south in their skin groups: Nampatjin and Napanangka; Napaljarri and Naparrula; Napanardi and Nangala, and Nakamara and Nungurayi, That’s it. Numor. - Joan Eve Nagomara Naparrula

Moundu, two white stones from Balgo picked up by Jimmy Tchooga Tjapangarti and Joan Eve Nagomara Naparrula, represent the land. Voices from Balgo artists are men and women, Jimmy Tchooga Tjapangarti, Helicopter Joey, Tjungurrayi, Larry Gundora Tjanpanangka, Daniel Rockman, Joan Eve Nagomara Naparrula, Tossie Baadjo Nangala talking about their culture and their point of view about the world as a message to send to the other part of the world.

 Jartuwupar, Daniel Rockman, drawing ink on paper
 Adoring the World, Magic Ring, Giorgia Severi, tree branch and natural wrope, 30x30cm, 2012


Balgo, Wirramanu Community, Tanami Desert

Songs sung by Elders from Kapululangu ABORIGINAL Women's Law and Culture Centre 

Voices: Payi Payi (Bai Bai) Sunfly Napangarti, Manaya Sarah Daniels Napanangka, Mayan Kathleen Padoon Napanangka, Maudi Martingali Mandigalli Napanangka, Linda Charmawina Napangarti
Project facilitator: Dr. Zohl de Ishtar 

Sound recordings: Giorgia Severi 
Sound editing: Giovanni Lami

Women from Kapululangu sing songs in kukatja language from West Australian Desert. Women's songs sung by the Elders, culture keepers singing songs about their country. The sticks have been used for years while singing traditional songs and they belong to and represent Kapululangu Women.
Three are Three Songs. The Clapping Sticks which you hear in the songs are the same ones on display here today.

Song One Title: Bush Way
This Law / Ceremony tells of the two Ancestor Women who were/are two Waatjirra/Parnku (cousins). Their puya (skin/relationship classifications) are Napangarti and Nakamarra. The two cousins are travelling home from Amata Aboriginal Community (in South Australia) and are carrying the powerful BushWay Law back to Balgo (in northern Western Australia). They had been given BushWay by the Women Elders of Amata after answering a call to go to Amata as Peace-Makers to bring peace to that community. As they travel home they are singing and dancing “BushWay” together. The older cousin is singing “You and me can stand up and dance together”. The younger cousin is dancing.
Song Two Title: Yawarrparr (aka Milky Way).
This song is the most important Law / Ceremony which the Kapululangu Senior Law Women are custodians of, and which they “hold” (keep) at the Kapululangu Aboriginal Women’s Law and Culture Centre. The ceremony is about two Ancestor Women who are sisters (Napanangka) and Tjarrtjurra (Women Healers). The sisters are dancing with parrka (leaves of the powerful Marlarn tree). As they dance they sweep their leaves up high and trace the pattern of stars that form the “Milky Way” or edge of our galaxy.
Song Three Title: Walawalarra (Two Invisible Women Ancestors)
This is the song that the Kapululangu Women Elders dance to call the Two Invisible Women Ancestors (the Two Nangala) to join them in ceremony. Through this song the Women Elders call on the powerful Walawalarra to listen to and witness their dancing and song. The involvement of the Walawalarra is essential in all ceremonies that take place at the Kapululangu Aboriginal Women’s Law and Culture Centre. Their presence makes the ceremony (or prayer) powerful and effective. The Walawalarra are always present and always looking over the daily affairs at the Women’s Centre. Sometimes as the Elders go about their daily lives at the Women’s Centre they will see the Walawalarra sitting with them.
(This explanation is by Dr Zohl dé Ishtar, who has lived with and apprenticed to the Kapululangu Women Elders since 1999.)
Mothers are drawings by Giorgia Severi dedicated to the Kapululangu Elders. Made with charcoal on paper.


Outback Arts, Boolarng Nangamai and Galamban

Artists from: New South Wales, Bourke, Cobar, Coonamble, Walgett e Warren 
Artists: Jamie-Lea Hodges, Clive Freeman, Sam Turnbull, Lorraine King, Kevin Welsh, John McBride, Helen McBride, Rhianna McBride, Lola Roberts, Jenny Trindall, Wendy Ashby, Barbara Ashby, Patricia Weatherall, Stella Sands, Jenadel Lane, Barbara Stanley, Mary Kennedy, Minnie Riley, Karrin Thurston, Monica Summers, Una Bibby, Rozzi Smith, Maree Bolton 
Workshop and cultural liaison by: Clive Freeman 
Project facilitator: Jamie – Lea Hodges 
Supported by: Boolarng Nangamai. Together Dreaming

Connective Understanding explores the ancient ways of Aboriginal Australia through an innovative approach to contemporary fibre art. Curated by Aboriginal artist and Regional Arts Development Officer of Outback Arts Jamie-Lea Hodges, the artwork brings together 30 artists from across far North Western New South Wales. Connective Understanding, explores the connections between traditional and contemporary practices of String making, between communities, across generations and land. The artistic concept highlights the collaborative practices of contemporary Aboriginal artists, responding and participating in conversations that carry out the connective understanding of community across physical and cultural divides, sharing their knowledge and exchanging their stories to reflect their collective voice. - Jamie-Lea Hodges

   Connective Understanding, Aboriginal artists from Outbackarts
         mixed materials, 15mt long, 2014                                 


Artists: Julie Freeman, Markeeta Freeman and Clive Freeman
from: Wreck Bay

Galamban is an indipendent Aboriginal Business, in its design it is committed to continuing our heritage which has been created to share our country, our culture, our way. Galamban is owned and managed by the Freeman family from 2007. We are traditional owners from Booderee on the south east coast of Australia, and recognise ourselves as a combination of both our grandmother and grandfathers country, Yuin and Tharawal nations. The title of the installation is Galamban and it means homelands or country in Dhuraga Language. This cloaks was made to represent our family and country. The two shields, Warra Warra and Jillawara represent birth and death. Warra Warra made with bark of the Snowy River Gums Australian Eucalyptus tree from Wogal Aboriginal Land in the Snowy Mountains painted with traditional red ocher from my mothers Country (Clive Freeman mother's) and tells of birth. It represents Birth and the patterns on it represent the coming together of two people and the mixing of blood. Jillawarra made with bark of the Snowy River Gums Australian Eucalyptus tree from Wogal Aboriginal Land in the Snowy Mountains painted with traditional white ocher from my mothers Country and tells of death. It represents Death, and has a single pattern running its length from top to bottom, symbolising a new journey into the afterlife. The white ocher on the shield represents the ancient cultural practice of covering the head with white ocher following the death of a loved one. This is known as a mourning cap and a ceremonial part of death ritual in both the Eora and Yuin Aboriginal Nations.

 Gumara Barranargn 
Australian Aboriginal Possum Skin Cloak
For generations, every Aboriginal infant born in south-eastern Australia was wrapped in a possum skin pelt, covered in symbols explaining their family and Country. The cloak, worn every day and slept in every night, grew with the child. Over the years, more possum pelts, loaded with descriptions of new stories and new relationships, were attached to that first panel. When a person died, the cloak became a burial garment, depicting a full life story. Aboriginal Nations of Australia continue today to maintain cultural traditions, despite the hardship inflicted by British colonization and a fabrication of sovereignty. There are only five historic possum skin cloaks surviving. In the past decade however, Aboriginal Australians have been pushing a cultural revival. The possum skin cloak, has come to symbolize this movement.
The cloaks are read like a book, and are important for ceremony, history, emotional health and wellbeing. Cloaks were made before babies were born. Mothers and grandmothers selected four prime pelts for the child during winter, when the fur was at it thickest and most beautiful. Every Aboriginal person owned one, and they were worn for life and greatly prized. The pelts were cleaned, scraped with sharp shells, tanned with tree bark and pegged out to dry in the sun, then rubbed over the smooth bark branches of eucalypt trees to soften. They were trimmed and stitched together with bone needles and possum sinew. The pelts were rubbed with oil and ochre (natural earth pigments), carved and painted with clan designs particular to the Country, ancestry and family. The Body, scared trees and objects were also painted with ochre for ceremony, with the same designs as depicted on the Cloaks.



interview to Larissa Meneri and Bronwyn Stuart
Western Aranda women talk about what's going on and what they wish for their own future and for the world.
recordings by Giorgia Severi 

 Hermannsburg Community, view from a building of the old mission, Giorgia Severi
pictures taken with permit of Bronwyn Stuart, Western Aranda 

Coober Pedy and Flinders Ranges

Elders around the Country talk and sing about their Lands.
Ian Crombie talks about Breakaways in Cooper Pedy and Angelina and Nobelene Mackenzie-Stuart sing a song about Flinders Rangers. 

 Nobelene Mackenzie- Stuart, Warratyie Vippi, carved emu eggs

singers :
Angelina Stuart and Noblelene Mackenzie-Stuart  , Adnyamathamha
sound records by Giorgia Severi

Angelina Stuart and Noblelene Mackenzie-Stuart sing a song story about a mother and her two children. 
Wayanhamna is the name of the hill up on Flinders ranges. The children walk away. The mother tries to entice them to return to her. 
First she cooks a damper so they can smell her cooking. Than she sings. But they didnt return.

Elder from Coober Pedy shows how beautiful his his land and hopes people will respect and protect it. Ancient more than 100milions years , the fossilized wood represents his Country. PUNU IRITI in Yankunyitjatjara language means old wood.

Ian Crombie, Breakaways, picture of Breakaways taken by Giorgia Severi with permit of the Elder
Ian Crombie, Punu Iriti, 2014

 Giorgia Severi 

Giorgia Severi develops a series of works about ancestors using sandstone doing engravings handmade. Etymologically composed by Latin preposition ante and the adjective natus which means "born"; ANCESTOR therefore means literally "one who was born first." Artworks are inspired by ceremonies and arts from the Paleolithic to the Iron Age have been conducted in the area of Val Camonica and other mountainous parts of Italy. Carved holes so-called "cups" present on large boulders and slabs that were made in antiquity by beating on the same point during the ceremonial act. It often had a reference to the constellations and were perhaps rituals dedicated to water or fertility. For Severi ancestors are not only human beings born before us but also the natural elements as ancient and primordial beings from which it is created all life on earth.

 Giorgia Severi, Ancestor#3. The Forest 
2015, arenaria ( brown sandstone ) , 24x35x3cm , Courtesy the artist

Giorgia Severi, Ancestor#4 Water
2015, arenaria ( brown sandstone ), 60x30x7cm, Courtesy the artist

Giorgia Severi, Ancestor#2.My ancestors 
2015, arenaria ( brown sandstone ), 22x26x7cm , Courtesy of the artist