Sister artists celebrate Aboriginal culture and vibrancy of northern Australia


A deep dive into Aboriginal culture. An exhibition recently showcased the art of two sisters from Urapunga, a small Aboriginal community of Arnhem Land, Australia.

Stretching from the East Alligator River to the Gulf of Carpentaria, Arnhem Land covers an area of some 150,000 square kilometres.

Margaret and Rhonda Duncan are the artists behind the Minbala Mami Kantri or Our Mother’s Country exhibit.

The Duncans used art to depict vibrancy of the region’s wet season and process the loss of their mother.

“We learnt everything from mum so that when you grow up you know where to go and where to get the animals,” Margaret says.

[Creating] “takes away the anger, the things that you stress about in today’s world. we’re living in two worlds,” she adds.

The Ngalakgan People have lived in Urapunga for millennia. Artists Rhonda and Margaret Duncan come from a long lineage of masters in traditional weaving, painting, and carving.

They are a bridge between the world their ancestors inhabited and the present.

Their art captures stories of Urapunga Country, places, animals, culture, family and how their people live.

“We want to teach the people to understand how we are and how we live,” Rhonda explains.

There are about 500 different Aboriginal peoples in Australia, each with their own language and territory and usually made up of a large number of separate clans. Archaeologists believe that the Aboriginals first came to the Australian continent around 45,000 years ago.

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