Margaret Rarru Garrawurra and Helen Ganalmirriwuy Garrawurra
Various works

Creation date: 2020–2021
Location: Gallery 12

Artists Margaret Rarru Garrawurra and Helen Ganalmirriwuy Garrawurra on their work in Ceremony

My mother [Mamiyan] taught me and my father taught me this work. I watched how to make dhomala when I was a kid. I watched them work. Then I got it. I grew up, then I started. I painted, I wove, mats and baskets, dillybags, with black, red and yellow colours. That’s what I did.

When I started working, I was using pandanus, and then I was thinking, maybe I’ll make them black. I was thinking of black. Then I started weaving, baskets, dillybags, mats. And the black colour, the black colour is not for everyone. That’s just for me.

I thought that up in my head. Then I started weaving, and then Balanda and Yolŋu saw it. They were surprised. That colour belongs to me.

— Margaret Rarru Garrawurra, 2021

This is a miṉḏirr. This is my grandmother (mother’s mother). I make these, and my sister makes them—Margaret Rarru. The leaves we collected—we put those into water. This one [mol or black miṉḏirr], this is a new idea. This is a new idea of ours, of mine and my sisters’. What we do is we gather these leaves, then we put them in water with pandanus, and it goes black. The pandanus goes black, inside, in the water. [Everything in] the drum goes black. Then we weave it. And this is the colour. This is a new innovation.

— Helen Ganalmirriwuy Garrawurra, 2020

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