Deborah Wurrkidj

Debra-Wurrkidj.gif

Gender: Female
Born: 1971
State: Northern Territory
Art Centre: Babbarra Designs
& Maningrida Arts & Culture
Language: Kuninjku
Region: West Central Arnhem Land
Community: Maningrida
Homeland: Mumeka
Moiety: Duwa
Subsection: Kamanj

Deborah Wurrkidj has been working at Babbarra Designs since 1991 and is an experienced textile artist. She is from the Kuninjku language group of Western Arnhem Land.

Babbarra Designs is a manufacturer of fine indigenous textile art. We are based at Maningrida in central Arnhem Land and operate out of the Babbarra Women’s Centre. The Women’s Centre in Maningrida began as a women’s refuge in the 1980’s. Now a women’s CDEP centre it provides employment and training opportunities through the establishment and operation of appropriate small business enterprises. Babbarra Designs, our textile art business is the centre’s major activity.
 
The Maningrida region of central Arnhem Land is one of immense cultural and linguistic diversity with over 12 distinct Aboriginal languages being spoken in this relatively small area. The work of the textile artists depicts the landscape, dreaming stories, bush foods and bush
 
crafts from their country in central Arnhem Land. The variation in subject matter reflects the cultural identity of women from the different language groups. Artists have trained in a number of textile mediums, however, most specialise in handcrafted lino-tile and silk-screen printed fabric. The women produce lino-tile designs and print these on fabric with up to three layers of colour. Each piece of lino-fabric is unique with varying tile and colour combinations. The artists also hand paint their lino-tiled fabric further enhancing the creativity of individual pieces.
 
Babbarra Designs print fine silk-screened fabrics from original artwork designed by our artists in collaboration with Bobbie Rubin. We currently have over 30 screen print designs to choose from in one and two colour combinations. All Babbarra Designs products are printed on 100% cotton, linen and silk, and are heat set in a professional fabric oven.
 

Exhibitions:
Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair, Darwin Convention Centre, August, 2012
New Fabrics from Babbarra Designs, Nomad Art, Canberra, 10th February – 31st March 2012
Blossom, Textiles inspired by the natural world, Fabric of Life, Adelaide, 1st-17th March 2012
A Fine Line – Where Craft Meets Art & Design, Chan Contemporary Art Space, Darwin, March – April 2012
Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair, Darwin Convention Centre, August , 2011
Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair, Darwin Convention Centre, August, 2010
Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair, Darwin Convention Centre, August, 2010
Momentum – 18th Tamworth Textile Biennial, Tamworth Regional Gallery, Tamworth, November 2008
Tandanya Aboriginal Cultural Centre, Adelaide, March 2006
Babbarra Inspirations, Territory Craft, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin January 2005
Weave, Print Exhibition, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, August 2002

Major Commissions
Darwin Convention Centre, Darwin, 2009
Pandanas Apartments, Darwin 2007

Collections
Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia
Training, Demonstrations and Conferences
Screen Print Workshop in collaboration with Bobbie Rubin, Fabric Designs, Charles Darwin University, July 2012
Screen Print Workshop in collaboration with Bobbie Rubin, Fabric Designs, Charles Darwin University, November 2010
Screen Print Workshop, Fabric Designs in collaboration with Bobbie Rubin, Charles Darwin University, June 2007
Conference, Selling Yarns: Australian Indigenous textiles and good business in the 21st century, Australian National University, Darwin, August 2006
Screen Print Workshop, Fabric Designs, Charles Darwin University, February 2006
Screen Print Workshop, Fabric Designs, Charles Darwin University, November 2003
Screen Print Workshop, T-shirt Designs, Charles Darwin University, July 2003
Batik Workshop, Babbarra Women’s Centre, Maningrida, October 2002
Mittagong Fibre Forum, Mittagong, August 2002
Certificate II in Textile Art (Aboriginal Enterprise), Nungalinya College Darwin, 2001
Lino and Etching Print Workshops, Northern Editions, Charles Darwin University 2000-2002