In May 1995 a small revolution happened in far eastern Arnhem Land. The Yolngu artists of Buku-Larrnggay Mulka rose up and ‘seized the means of production’. Remote Indigenous printmakers began working on their own press to create limited edition fine art works on paper. Thus they began the Yirrkala Print Space.
And now, twenty years later, the wheel of that etching press has turned full circle. Yirrkala Print Space is one of the country’s most highly respected independent print studios. Yolngu printmakers have editioned over 800 etchings, screenprints, woodblocks, linocuts and collagraphs created by 134 Yolngu artists. The space has never been idle over that twenty years and has at all times been staffed by Yolngu printmakers who have passed on their knowledge to new generations.
This exhibition of 20 new etchings honours the imagery and heritage of the artists. The works reflect the traditions and culture of their people yet is brimming with innovation and originality. Over 20 years the artists of Yirrkala Print Space have revolutionised the way art is made and the way knowledge is shared with the public. Their philosophy is highly democratic and the prints highly accessible, transforming art into new realms and creating a revolution in every sense.
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