In May 2021 we hosted the first traveling exhibition to come to Milingimbi. Long water; fibre stories celebrates the spiritual, ancestral, and physical connections to water through fibre practices of artists from Yuwaalaraay (North West NSW), Quandamooka (Moreton Bay, South East QLD), Kuku Yalanji (Far North QLD), Zenadh Kes (Torres Strait Islands, QLD) and Yurrwi (Milingimbi Island, NT). Together this group—Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, spanning different generations and ancestries—share an inseparable relationship to water, be it the vast sea, inland waterways, or expansive river systems.
We were proud to share with our community the stunning artworks by Susan Balbunga, Elisa Jane Carmichael, Sonja Carmichael, Fiona Elisala-Mosby, Janet Fieldhouse, Ruth Nalmakarra with Helen Ganalmirriwuy and Mandy Batjula, Paula Savage, Lucy Simpson, and Delissa Walker. Artists Sonja and Elisa Carmichael as well as curator Freja Carmichael were in residence at the art and culture centre and worked with us to deliver daily workshops for groups of school children. Wilson Manydjarri and Jacob Ganambarr sung manikay and played yidaki for use to dance bungul during the closing ceremony.
Our chairperson, Ruth Nalmakarra, expressed that the opportunity to come together brought joy to the community.
We are grateful to the many people and organisations that made this very special event possible. Thank you Freja Carmichael and the team at the Institute of Modern Art Queensland, Museum and Galleries Queensland, the Australia Council of the Arts and String Harvest.
Visit the Institute of Modern Art Queensland website to learn more about Long water; fibre stories and the exhibiting artists.