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Elizabeth’s “Clouds” design on 100% silk

Elizabeth Kandabuma

Gender: Female
State: Northern Territory
Art Centre: Babbarra Designs & Maningrida Arts & Culture
Language: Kuninjku
Region: West Central Arnhem Land
Community: Maningrida
Homeland: Nangak
Moiety: Yirritjinga
Subsection: Bangardidjan

Elizabeth Kandabuma started worked at Babbarra Designs since the early 1990s and retired in 2009. She is from the Kuninjku language group of western Arnhem LandBabbarra 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
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:
Pandanas Mantra, Darwin, 2007
Training, Demonstrations and Conferences:
Screen Print Workshop, Fabric Designs, 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