State: Northern Territory
Art Centre: Babbarra Designs
& Maningrida Arts & Culture
Region: West Central Arnhem Land
Dora Diaguma started worked at Babbarra Design in 2007. 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. We currently have 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.
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, 2009
Babbarra Inspirations, Territory Craft, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin January 2005
Training, Demonstrations and Conferences:
Screen Print Workshop, Fabric Designs, Charles Darwin University, June 2007