Issue 5
Monday, 01 July 2019
Charles Darwin University
E-news
From left: Leon Milmurru, Carolyn McLennan and Jacob Djalangi work on Bonuwuy’s bark painting “Gupapuyngu Djalambu Ceremony”. Image: MAGNT / Merinda Campbell
From left: Leon Milmurru, Carolyn McLennan and Jacob Djalangi work on Bonuwuy’s bark painting “Gupapuyngu Djalambu Ceremony”. Image: MAGNT / Merinda Campbell

Rare Indigenous artworks restored

An exhibition of selected artworks from the Milingimbi Educational and Cultural Association (MECA) Collection at CDU Art Gallery has proved popular with art lovers.

“Reinvigorating the MECA Collection” showcases 63 restored Indigenous pieces by artists from Central Arnhem Land’s Milingimbi, Ramingining and surrounding communities.

The CDU Art Gallery has received funding to help restore articles that are showing their age. Art conservator Carolyn McLennan is treating selected artworks from the original collection of 280 pieces.

Ms McLennan used a soft goat hair brush to dust the artworks and applied a water-based adhesive to consolidate loose pigment.

CDU Art Collection and Art Gallery Curator Kellie Joswig hoped further funding would be granted to restore more of these important artworks.

“This is the first time these artworks have been on public display,” she said.

“Descendants of the artists gave the Art Gallery and Yolngu Studies permission to exhibit 100 bark paintings from the MECA Collection.

“Unfortunately, some required extensive treatment that we didn’t have adequate resources to implement; others were simply not stable enough to relocate for the exhibition.”

Ms Joswig said Leon Milmurru, Jacob Djalangi and Priscilla Gapirrawuy, art workers at Milingimbi Art and Culture, visited Darwin to assist during the 10-week project.

“Reinvigorating the MECA Collection” is a collaboration between CDU Art Gallery, CDU Yolngu Studies, Milingimbi Art and Culture and Bula’bula Arts. The exhibition’s program has included public talks on the MECA Collection and its conservation. It is open until 20 July.

For more information W: cdu.edu/artcollection-gallery