Australia is hosting an exhibition of Indigenous Art in Bengaluru from 16 to 25 May at the Bangalore International Centre. The exhibit of works by Indigenous artists highlights the importance Australia places on its First Nations cultures as a vital part of its national identity.
Titled ‘Jarracharra’, for the name given to a distinctive wind which blows across Arnhem Land in Australia’s far north in the dry season, the exhibition includes a range of screen-printed textiles created by female First Nations artists from the Bábbarra Women’s Centre. Their work pushes artistic barriers to depict ancient narratives through contemporary mediums. The exhibition also includes some woodblock prints done on paper.
Speaking at the launch event, Ms Sarah Kirlew, Australian Consul General for South India said, “We are glad to bring the Jarracharra exhibition to a vibrant, international city like Bengaluru. I hope that by visiting Jarracharra, the Bengaluru audience will learn more about Australia’s diverse, strong and vibrant First Nations cultures and develop a broader impression of modern Australia.”
Australia’s First Nations people are the oldest continuous culture on earth, having inhabited Australia for over 65,000 years. Australia is committed to sharing their stories and art with the world. Australia appointed its inaugural Ambassador for First Nations People in March 2023 to elevate the perspectives of First Nations people in its diplomacy.
Jarracharra has been displayed in leading galleries globally and comes to Bengaluru after a tour to Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai. The exhibition includes new pieces and woodblocks developed collaboratively when artists from the Bábbarra Women’s Centre visited the Tharangini studio in Bengaluru in early 2023. The new co-created textiles combine traditional Indian woodblock carving and printing with Indigenous Australian designs.
Talking about the collaboration between the artists from Bábbarra Women’s Centre and artisans from the Tharangini studio, Padmini Govind, Partner, Tharangini Studio said “We spent over three months translating Bábbarra’s traditional designs into hand carved woodblocks. When the artists Janet and Deborah came to Tharangini, a beautiful, visual dialogue connected our block print artisans with them. It was as if they had been working collaboratively for years. It was an honour and privilege for all of us at Tharangini.”
Speaking at the event Ms Arora and Ms Pais said “It has been such an enriching experience deep-diving into the lives and work of the women artists at the Bábbarra Women’s centre to curate this show. The Jarracharra in Bangalore invites you to get to know the women artists and view their textiles once you have stepped into their world. Their creative expression comes from a deep and steadfast reverence for their ancient culture and landscape. The collaboration between Tharangini Studio and Bábbarra Women’s centre transcends language and culture and brings together creative practitioners. The joy and exuberance is palpable in their beautiful work, and this is yet another moment to celebrate.”
The exhibition is presented by the Australian Consulate-General for South India. The Consulate extended its thanks to Ms Anshu Arora and Ms Prithi Pais for curating the exhibition.
Jarracharra is open to the public from 17 to 25 May, 9am to 8pm, at Bangalore International Centre, 7, 4th Main Road, Domlur II Stage, Bengaluru 560071.