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Works From Regina Pilawuk Wilson + Durrmu Arts Come To Sydney

Art

Celebrated artist Regina Pilawuk Wilson was in Sydney last week to open Deme Bakuty, Many Hands, a series of vibrant works-on-paper at Koskela Gallery.

A pioneering painter, acclaimed for her contemporary representation of weaving craftsmanship, Regina guided us through the exhibition to learn more.

10th April, 2019

Acclaimed artist Regina Pilawuk Wilson. Photo – courtesy of Durrmu Arts.

Deme Bakuty, Many Hands, a series of vibrant works-on-paper at Koskela Gallery. Photo – courtesy of Koskela Gallery.

Regina is heralded as some of the first in Indigenous art to represent the craft of weaving as contemporary art. Fish net motifs feature prominently in her art. Photos – courtesy of Durrmu Arts.

The landscape of Peppimenarti, Northern Territory. Photo – courtesy of Durrmu Arts.

Local artists partook in a special workshop earlier in 2019. Photos – courtesy of Durrmu Arts.

Deme Bakuty, Many Hands also sets out to highlight the art of other senior and emerging artists in the community. Photo – courtesy of Koskela Gallery.

Elle Murrell
Wednesday 10th April 2019

‘We come together as one to keep our culture strong’ – Regina Pilawuk Wilson.

Earlier in 2019 at Durrmu Arts, a centre 300-kilometres south-west of Darwin on the road from Daly River to Wadeye, a group gathered for a painting workshop on the veranda.

Among the artists, was one of the Peppimenarti community’s most acclaimed painters, Regina Pilawuk Wilson. The senior Ngan’gikurunggurr woman took out the Telstra General Painting Award in 2003 and her works were included in the landmark exhibition Marking the Infinite: Contemporary Women Artists from Aboriginal Australia. She has also featured in a number of international showcases, from Harvard Art Museums to the 3rd Moscow Biennale of Art.

Last week Regina travelled to Sydney, to Koskela Gallery, to open an exhibition of 37 works-on-paper created in their workshop. ‘We have a small art centre, and our artists work together on the deck,’ she explained.

The collection of artworks represent Peppimenarti country and culture, and the intergenerational transfer of knowledge happening at Durrmu Arts. Durrmu (dots), fi (string/lines), woven articles, and body paint designs have been reanimated through acrylic paint, pen, and inks.

Regina’s own paintings often draw on ‘the stitch and weave of the syaw’ – a net used to gather fish, prawns and other seafood, made from the pinbin vine (bush vine). They are heralded as some of the first in Indigenous art to represent the craft of weaving as contemporary art and this influence can be seen through the work of other Peppimenarti painters.

And so Deme Bakuty, Many Hands also sets out to highlight the art of other senior artists in the community, including Margaret Kundu and Kathleen Korda as well as emerging talents Annunciata Dartinga, Jessie Singar, Grace Dodson and Anne-Carmel Nimbali Wilson. ‘There are eight different languages in our community…’ added Regina. ‘We come together as one to keep our culture strong. Ngerringkrretj (we hold strong) from our Ancestors.’

Deme Bakuty, Many Hands
April 6th to May 5th
Koskela Gallery
1/85 Dunning Avenue
Rosebery, New South Wales.

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