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Aboriginal art for a good cause

Bukumarra and Birritpirrit with crocodile and magpie geese painting. Photo: Supplied



Annandale Interiors are hosting an exhibition to raise money for the Motoca Art Bank Project on Wednesday 11th October at 6pm to 9pm. They will be showcasing the incredible artworks of Aboriginal artist Robyn Bulunu Mununggurr, with a limited number of her paintings for purchase. Full of beauty and colour, her paintings reflect her country, clan and the totems of her Northeast Arnhem Land homelands.

The art is phenomenal, but the cause is even better with the proceedings from the exhibition going straight to a remote family, Robyn and her husband David in Arnhem Land. This will aid them in reconditioning an old, but extremely essential motor vehicle. The car will assist them in staying connected to their land, culture and community, while also providing access to their basic needs of education, food and employment.

The ownership of a well-functioning car is absolutely essential in remote areas, especially with the harsh road conditions they face on a daily basis. Robyn has immediate family living in Garrthalala and the distance from her home in Yirrkala is 250km away. The roads are unsealed and not in very good condition as they are only graded once per year. This makes travelling very difficult as for most of the year it is profoundly uneven and there may be dangerous washaways and bogs. During the wetter seasons, this makes it nearly impossible to cross as it can become quite unsafe.

Since the car’s last reconditioning in December 2016, it has done 75,000km and has cost them $9,500 in repairs, with  1km being equivalent to 3-4km driven in the city. Recognising how fundamental a car was to the family, Robyn received a loan from adopted relatives Suzanne and Greg to purchase and maintain a repaired Toyota HiLux twin cab. Without a car they were severely disadvantaged, so with the help of a local mechanic they serviced a 2005 HiLux for $15,000. It is a taxi, ambulance, bus, tractor, courier vehicle and delivery truck all in one.

The Art Bank Project enables them to store and sell art, aiding them in repaying the loan. The local community is encouraged to attend and join in celebrating an indigenous evening of drinks, cultural diversity and art. Robyn’s granddaughter Guruwa will be at the art exhibition, representing her family as she speaks about her homeland, grandmother and art. Suzanne will also share her research on the community benefits of projects like the Art Bank Motoca Project. To RSVP, contact Kim Thompson on 02 9565 1275 or Trish Carroll on 02 9516 3888.

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