On Sunday the 14th April, Terri opened the exhibition Punu – Living Wood, a recent collaboration between Maruku Arts and the Sturt Gallery that sits on Gundungurra country in Mittagong.
Maruku Arts represents over 20 Indigenous communities across the Central and Western desert regions of Australia and is made up of 900 Anangu artists. Among these are senior artists Billy and Lulu Cooley whose Punu (wood) work is nationally and internationally acclaimed and featured in this show. They are currently undertaking artist residencies at Sturt and gave a series of public demonstrations of the Punu techniques.
The exhibition was curated by Slavica Zivkovic, the manager of Sturt Gallery, and it showcased an impressive collection of walka board paintings by Niningka Lewis, new works by the Cooley’s and works by 20 more artists. It was a full house and many of the works sold.
After the opening we joined Billy and Lulu around the fire pit they were using to heat the metal rods used for mark making onto the wood. These were works in progress and the wood was sourced from the local area.
There was also another great exhibit in the front room featuring works by local Indigenous artists Peter Swain and the Yirran Miigaydhu Weavers.
Punu – Living Wood is on show at Sturt Gallery until the 2 June.
Sturt Gallery & Studios, Cnr Range Rd & Waverley Pde, Mittagong www.sturt.nsw.edu.au
Billy Cooley, Lulu Cooley, Mark Viner, Slavica Zivkovic, Terri Janke, Ruth Stone, Clive Scollay, Peter Swain, Bodhi Matthews
Lulu Cooley (Photo credit: Slavica Zivkovic, Sturt Gallery)