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"In These Hands" (Mara nyangangka)

7 Dec 2017 to 11 Feb 2018
Mittagong NSW

Ernabella Arts, 70 years of Indigenous Art & Design

Location: Sturt Gallery, Mittagong, NSW

The fruits of a collaboration that took place 46 years ago are soon to be the subject of a very special exhibition and residency between Australia's two oldest centres for craft and design – Sturt Gallery & Studios (1941) and Ernabella Arts (1948).

In the late 1960s two women from different worlds struck up a friendship and artistic collaboration that would last a lifetime.  Elizabeth Nagel, master weaver from Sturt in the lush green Southern Highlands of NSW  travelled to the remote Pukatja Community in far north western South Australia where she met Winifred Hilliard, the then Manager of the craft industry at Ernabella Mission.  Together they sparked a groundbreaking initiative between two of Australia's oldest craft centres which would lead to inspiring artistic production spanning generations. 

Nagel, now in her 80s, visited Ernabella many times and together they pioneered two separate residencies for Indigenous artists to travel to Sturt and live on site in Mittagong for 5 months learning new weaving techniques in Sturt's studios.  Now for the first time in years, a new generation of Indigenous artists will take that journey from Ernabella to Sturt where they will once again undertake a residency and celebrate the collaboration between these two famous craft centres in this wonderful 70th birthday exhibition – that will showcase the full range of contemporary art being made today in Ernabella including paintings, ceramics, textiles and basket weaving.

Ernabella Arts is now a renowned Indigenous centre for art and design famous for their paintings and ceramics and Sturt is honoured to showcase the quality and depth of work being made by Ernabella artists today.  "In These Hands" (Indigenous translation) will not only tell the historical story of the link between these two famous centres, it will celebrate the long tradition of craft and design in Australia while at the same time being testament to the positive collaboration and understanding between an Indigenous and non-Indigenous cultural institution sharing that same passion for 'making'. 

Elizabeth Nagel will be at the celebration and opening along with representatives of a new generation of Indigenous artists carrying forward the stories, traditions and techniques that have gone before at what's set to be one of the most exciting new exhibitions of Indigenous art not to be missed.  

In 2018/19 'In these Hands" will tour nationally and bring to a wider audience the proud legacy of Sturt and Ernabella.

For more information contact:

Kristie Phelan
0416 232 923

Event Details

Date: 
7 Dec 2017 to 11 Feb 2018
Location: 
Sturt Gallery
Range Road
Mittagong NSW 2575
Phone: 
0416 232 923

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