Barkly Artists Camp 2014

in Diverse News

An account of the Barkly Art Camp by Ngurratjuta art support worker Marisa Maher.

On Monday 2nd June, I travelled to Tennant Creek with Lenie Namatjira & Gwenda Namatjira to Likkapurta community, which is 60km North West of Tennant Creek on the Barkly Highway.

The Barkly Art Camp

We also travelled with Desart workers Phillip, Hannah, Marlene & Parris and workshop facilitators Rolande (collage), Sandy (weaving) and Steven (photography).

While we were there we met a lot of ladies from different art centres around the Barkly region. Many have travelled from far away to be at the workshop. All the ladies there were very friendly and funny at times.

We started the first day of the workshop with general information about the community and meal times for everyone.

Everyone met the facilitators and broke off into groups and began to work. Many of the ladies decided to do weaving and some stayed with Rolande to collage. There were a few young people and they went off with Steven and did some photo shoots around the community.

Rolande gave a short presentation and background of her heritage and how she came to work with collaging. She also spoke about the different art groups she has worked with from around Australia.

Lenie and Gwenda collaging
Lenie and Gwenda collaging

The first day was a great start to the next few days of working hard and having fun as well.

So each day we continued on our work for the previous day. Some of the ladies got the hang of weaving and collaging that it was fun and enjoyable for those who only did it for the first time.


We also went for a short drive because some of the ladies wanted to go hunt for porcupine. We went out but were not able to find one- not that Lenie, Gwenda and myself were keen for porcupine!

That evening we watched a movie on a large blow up screen that was provided by the Barkly Council. We watch The Sapphires and on the next night we watched 10 Canoes, but before we enjoyed the movie, Steve had worked with Neil and Tiana from Mungkarta Community which is just south of Tennant Creek. They put together a short movie clip and photos taken that day around the community. It was fun to watch, and great for them as it was probably the first time they had worked with a camera, put together with music as well.

Stephen working with some of the ladies
Stephen working with some of the ladies

All in all it was a great trip and both Lenie and Gwenda very much enjoyed the trip away even if it was only for one week. I know that we will all benefit from this workshop because we were able to meet and connect with art centres from the Barkly region. I hope that this will continue to help and encourage other artist from our art centre to be involved.

-Marisa Maher