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