Mandy Martin, Mangkaja Arts Residency, Fitzroy Crossing, June 2010 This brief residency with artists at the Mangkaja Arts Centre was to consolidate and expand painting in Country with the artists who last year spoke to me about wanting to follow through ideas with me which had grown out of the very successful exhibition at Australian Galleries, Melbourne, November- December 2009. The full colour catalogue, DVD film and the exhibition had pleased them all and it was important to follow up both from my point of view and from that of the artists. We were all really happy to be able to work together. They all without exception chose the trips into Country as a way of passing on knowledge about Country to their family and me.
I focussed on 3 outstanding artists, Daisy Andrews, John Prince Siddon and Mervyn Street who have all made a quantum leap in their painting since I last worked with them. Along the way I worked with quite a few other artists including Jack Macale, Daisy Andrews son, and 13 artists from Muludja community.
Site 1: Brooklyn Springs, Knununberri
We had two trips to this well known site which Daisy identified as Big Waluk, meaning trees and rock, on the Leopold Road near Daisy Andrew’s husband’s country, Jandamarra. Daisy used to camp here with her husband and everyone met here for ceremonies.
Daisy’s nephew, John Prince Siddon came with us the first trip
Daisy's close kin, Jack Macale a Jandamarra man, came the second time. He is an art award winning artist and cultural guide for his home community, Biridu and he said they bring visitors here first for the smoking ceremony.
The school bus, driven by another of Daisy’s close kin, stopped on the way home from Fitzroy Crossing to Biridu and collected Jack Macale, (back left) and Daisy asked me to photograph her with her family.
The kids all were intrigued with my painting kit!
My final day at Mangkaja I found time to work with John Nargoodah and family on the back verandah at Mangkaja this year because of John’s other work commitments. His daughter, showed great talent in her first even canvas!