Mandy Batjula Gaykamaŋu
Mandy Batjula Gaykamaŋu is a Gupapuyŋu woman, daughter of esteemed community leader, Helen Milminydjarrk. She lives and works alongside her mother and mother’s sisters, including senior artists Ruth Nalmakarra, Margaret Rarru and Helen Ganalmirriwuy.
In 2017 Margaret Rarru recognised her commitment to her weaving practice and gave permission for her to create works using Rarru’s own iconic black dye, which Batjula now pairs with her own distinctive coil technique.
The daily routine at the camp of Batjula and her mothers is set by the rhythm of harvesting, preparing, dying and weaving bush fibres. She is a young artist, however the precision and detail of her work is of a standard usually attributed to the most senior weavers. In addition to her weaving practice, she also paints her clan designs associated with the Djan’kawu Sisters on bark, Dupun (burial poles) and archival paper.
Depending on the season and ceremonial obligations Batjula divides her time between her grandmother’s homeland of Laŋarra (Howard Island) and Yurrwi (Milingimbi).
Batjula has recently delivered workshops on weaving and natural dye processes at the Makarrata, Milingimbi (2016) and Gattjirrk Festival (2016). Her work has been shown in group exhibitions nationally and is held in collections such as those of the Berndt Museum at the University of Western Australia and the Australian Embassy in Washington DC.