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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The Aboriginal Memorial. Collection of the National Gallery of Australia. © National Gallery of Australia 2004


Here’s My Hand: a Testimony to an Aboriginal Memorial

In 1988, Ramingining Arts & Crafts (as Bula’bula Arts was then known), commissioned a film depicting The Aboriginal Memorial as it was displayed at the Biennale of Sydney. An art-house style short film, The Aboriginal Memorial is shown with gradations of light and shade as the sun moves across the Pier One venue at the Pyrmont Wharves in Sydney. Images of daybreak are interspersed with images of the 200 hollow logs as the film takes the viewer on a tour through the installation. The cinematography and aesthetic lighting make for a moving vision and interpretation of the forest of poles.


Dreamings: The Art of Aboriginal Australia

Made in 1988 to accompany an exhibition of the same title, the thirty minute Dreamings video was directed by Indigenous film maker, Michael Riley with camera work by Michael Edols and Tony Wilson. As stated on the cover, “this film reveals a culture which is among the most ancient known, and explores the timeless value of the oldest continuous art tradition in the world.” Ramingining artist David Malangi (1927-1999) is one of the featured artists.
Dreamings: The Art of Aboriginal Australia is available from Film Australia.


In 1989, Michael Riley again travelled to Ramingining, this time specifically to make a film about David Malangi, the artist famous for the use of one of his paintings on the Australian one dollar note. Shot on film (as opposed to video) the documentary provides the viewer with a glimpse of the life and culture of Malangi and his extended family. The film brings stories from the Dreaming to life as the family travel through their country, hunting and gathering along the way, and concludes with a campfire feast at sundown.

Malangi was directed by Michael Riley and produced by the ABC Film Unit, Australian Broadcasting Commission, Sydney, 1989.

Bula’bula Artists

With generous funding from the Australian Film Commission and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC), Bula’bula Arts and French film maker Cecile Babiole, of ex-Nihilo Productions, produced Bula’bula Artists for Canel Plus. The film was released in 1993 and screened on French television that year. Shot in 1992, one of the most significant segments of the film features the artists Paddy Dhathangu (1917-1993) and David Malangi (1927-1999) singing traditional songs around a campfire. This is one of the last recordings of Dhathangu.