Orion Expedition Cruise - 'Art of Arnhem Land'

6 May - 11 May 2010

Bula'bula Arts is proud to announce that we are going on tour... via the coastline of Arnhem Land!  We have been invited by the luxury cruise ship the Orion to come aboard the 'Art of Arnhem Land' expedition, which will visit Aboriginal Art Centres through the top end of Australia in May.  

Senior artists Peter Gambung and Bobby Bununggurr, accompanied by Louise O'Neil (manager) and Sara Higgs (curator) will board the vessel at Yirrkala, and visit communities such as Galiwin'ku, Maningrida and the Tiwi Islands before disembarking in Darwin.  As well as having the opportunity to talk about local art and culture, we will also be showing key examples of artwork produced from Bula'bula Arts.

This is not the first time Bobby has been invited to work on a cruise liner.  He fondly remembers a time when he and David Gulpilil performed at sea several years ago.  We are all looking forward to seeing the country from a different perspective and meeting the other passengers.  


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Bula'bula Arts - Australian Aboriginal Art Centre: Aboriginal Art, Painting & Screenprinting

Bula'bula Arts Aboriginal Corporation is located in Ramingining, a small and remote community established in central Arnhem Land in the 1970s. Located about 400km east of Darwin and 30km inland from the Arafura Sea, the township is built on land owned by the Djadawitjibi people of the Djinang group. 

The region is home to more than sixteen clans speaking fourteen different languages, and borders on the Arafura Wetlands.Ramingining has had an Indigenous art centre since the 1970s, and in 1990 a meeting of senior artists resulted in the decision to establish an independent artists organization to represent their interests. The name Bula’bula refers to the message embodied in the song-cycle of the area’s principal creative being, Garrtjambal the red kangaroo.  More literally, it translates as the tongue, or voice of the kangaroo.

Bula’bula artists are renowned for their distinctive bark and canvas paintings, dupun (hollow logs), yidaki (didgeridu), and fibre art such as mindirr (dilly bags), bush string bags and beautifully woven mats.  In addition to also producing limited edition prints on paper, Bula’bula Arts occaisonally produces locally designed screen-printed fabric and t-shirts.

Ramingining has produced many artists of renown, including Paddy Dhathangu (1914-1993), George Milpurrurru (1934-1998) and David Malangi (1927-1999), who is famous for the use his artwork on the Australian one dollar note, which was in currency until 1982.  Working painters currently include Philip Gudthaykudthay, Dorothy Djukulul, Namiyal Bopirri, Jimmy Moduk, Charlie Djurritjini, Richard Birrinbirrin, Peter Minygululu, Roy Burnyila and Bobby Bununggurr.Bula’bula also has some very accomplished fibre artists.  They include Judy Baypungala, Elizabeth Djuttara (1942-2010), Robyn Djunginy and Clara Matjandatjpi (Wubugwubuk), who was commissioned by SOCOG to produce large fibre forms for the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

More about the Ramingining region, the culture, people and art from this area can be seen on the website Twelve Canoes (www.twelvecanoes.com).

Click for a larger map

art centre

                           Interior view of Bula'bula Arts, showing a range of artworks and objects made by the local Yolngu artists