Arnhembrand, Art + Environment

Arnhembrand Update 1


Arnhembrand: Living on Healthy Country is a new art, science and story project which Mandy Martin and David Leece scoped at the invitation of the community with the Djelk Rangers in Maningrida, Arnhem Land, in March 2015.

Photo by David Leece

Photo by David Leece

We firstly thanked the Traditional Owners for permission to visit Country and acknowledged the elders past and present. We then presented some models of how Arnhembrand would work with community participation on art and stories about environmental preservation. This would raise awareness both nationally and internationally of the work the Indigenous communities living in the Djelk and Warddeken Indigenous Protected Areas in Arnhem Land undertake to preserve their culture and environment. The Arnhembrand project is designed to support the Karrkad-Kanjdji Trust which is working in the long term to achieve these preservation objectives. Arnhembrand aims to create a multi-disciplined and participatory project following the successful model of the Paruku Project. We presented examples of possible outputs including a book, a DVD, a website, blogs, an archive and exhibitions. We were then invited to meet with artists and artist/rangers at the The Wíwa Project which is hosting Arnhembrand in Maningrida. We presented our ideas in more depth and showed examples of ideas and techniques for drawing, painting and digital art that we could experiment with to foster a new wave of contemporary art which builds on each individual artist's distinct style while extending their traditional practice. The new wave art and new media created will assist in raising awareness of the environmental issues the Djelk and Warrdeken communities deal with.

Drawing workshop with The Wíwa Project 

Digital Art with The Wíwa Project 

Natalie Carey, Coordinator of Wiwa Media Unit, Mathias Cameron, Wiwa artist, Alexander Boynes, artist, Sirus Rostron, Wiwa artist, Hugo Sharp photographer/ Videographer. Photo Mandy Martin

"Dreaming Story" by Alexander Boynes

Drawing with Babbarra Designs

Arnhembrand also worked with Babbarra Designs who work out of The Women’s Centre and the women experimented with making new wave drawings about feral animals and weeds in their community. The chance to experiment will inspire new designs and approaches to making art while contributing to the environmental goals of the Djelk Rangers and the community.


Arnhembrand has also been invited to work with a fourth group of artists at Kabulwarnymyo, in May 2015. We will offer some exploratory drawing with new media and digital media to the descendants of the famous artist, Lofty Bardayal Nadjamerrek “Wamud Namok” who lived and worked at Kabulwarnymyo . Arnhembrand aims to provide opportunities for Wamud Namok’s descendants to build on his legacy and further develop their own art and income opportunities.

Photo by Hugo Sharp

Arnhembrand: Living on Healthy Country will inject energy through experimentation with new wave art and media and produce new material for performance and exhibition which take as their content living on healthy Country. This will also contribute to the Djelk and Warrdeken archives of stories and recordings and will generate income through external exhibition and media opportunities.