Dry Season Wind
February 5-20, 2023
A powerful collection of Australian Indigenous textile art from one of the most remote art centres in the world is making its way to Mumbai in February 2023. Jarracharra (dry season winds) is an exhibition of screen-printed textiles created by 17 female First Nations artists from the Bábbarra Women’s Centre, which is located in Arnhem Land in Australia’s Northern Territory.
The Australian Consulate-General in Mumbai is proud to present the exhibition in Mumbai from 5 February to 20 February. The exhibition will be showcased at ARTISANS’ gallery in Kala Ghoda, where it will also form part of this year’s Kala Ghoda Arts Festival program.
Jarracharra is being showcased in India for the first time for its eighth international showing. Starting in Kolkata the textiles will also be exhibited in Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Bengaluru.
Peter Truswell, Australian Consul-General said, "the Australian Consulate-General, Mumbai is pleased to feature the works of these First Nations women artists from Arnhem Land in Australia’s Northern Territory. Jarracharra celebrates the cultural and linguistic diversity of this remarkable region. The exhibition, comprising more than 40 fabrics made of linen, cotton and silk canvas, portray ancient narratives using contemporary mediums, enabling the audience to travel across ancient country in Northern Australia."
The title of the exhibition represents a metaphor for the way the Bábbarra Women’s Centre brings different First Nations cultures and stories together, just as Jarracharra (dry season winds) have brought First Nations people together for ceremony, dance and ritual for tens of thousands of years.
The artists participating in the exhibition have drawn inspiration for their designs from their environment and culture, such as sacred rock themes, djang (ancestral creator stories), female water spirits, turtles, mud crabs, bush foods, food-collecting and ceremonial sites in their homeland.
“The designs showcased in Jarracharra are powerful women’s creation stories, knowledge of traditional food, sacred sites, land preservation and indigenous lifestyle. The stories are unique to the women who create them as they paint designs passed down from their grandmothers or drawn from their unique cultural practices. The textile designs preserve this valuable knowledge for future generations and present to the world an alternative view of indigenous art, something they may not have seen,” said Jessica Stalenberg, Manager, Bábbarra Women’s Centre.
“We hope that the tour helps all the groups we visit find points of intersection between culture and design and that Indian and Australian artists consider opportunities to collaborate and learn from each other in technique, business acumen, sustainability and creativity. We want to raise awareness about women’s issues, especially those experienced in marginalised communities and bring value to traditional women’s work,” Stalenberg added.
About Bábbarra Women’s Centre
Bábbarra Women’s Centre was established as a women’s refuge in 1987 with a strong vision to support Maningrida women’s rights. Today, the centre is a world class textile producing art centre that focuses on generating economic opportunities for First Nations women living in the remote community of Arnhem Land. It currently, supports more than 30 women artists and has produced over 100 screen designs reflecting diverse Arnhem land country and cultures.
Burarra women and co-curator Jessica Phillips said:
‘The exhibition allows our artists to show the world that our culture still exists, our languages are still being spoken.’