Monday, September 14, 2015

desert mob alice springs

Desert Mob is one of the many celebrations of Aboriginal art and culture that happens here in Alice Springs. We've been lucky to coincide our visit with the 25th anniversary of Desert Mob. 

A week ago on Friday evening we joined the crowd pictured above at the Desert Mob Dancesite where Aboriginal women from a number of Central Australian communities sang and danced their traditional songs and dances.

The magnificent women pictured above dressed in yellow skirts and white feathers are from Tennant Creek they are dancing the Munga Munga dreaming, looking for water in the Dreamtime. (I was scribbling this down while keeping an eye on kids so if I have any of that incorrect apologies! Let me know and I will update it).

Desert Mob is hosted in partnership with desart the association of Central Australian Aboriginal Art and Craft Centers. The annual Desert Mob exhibition is a highlight at the Araluen Arts Centre as is the Desert Mob marketplace held on the Saturday. Pete and I managed to have a morning without our boys (thanks Jodie, Scott and Jacob!) to visit the marketplace. Market goers were in a buying frenzy as you can see from the last few photos. The art market is a unique opportunity to buy Aboriginal art at remarkably affordable prices (the majority of work on sale is under $500) and if you aren't in the market for a canvas there is jewellery, cushions, scarves and t-shirts.

Don't you love the t-shirt? The artist who painted this is the youngest artist from the Minyma Kutjara Arts Project, he is 6! 

The design on the first cushion cover pictured above is owned by Mary Anne Nampijinpa Michaels. It tells the story of a sheltered rock basin where the rockhole Lappi Lappi is a permanent source of water. It is surrounded by country rich in bush tucker. The rockhole is home to a warnayarra, a rainbow serpent that travels underground between various rock holes. You can read more detail of this story here.

The second cushion cover, the design is owned by Betsy Napangardi Lewis. This design tells the story of all a group of women of all ages who travelled to the east gathering food, collecting 'ngalyipi' (snake vine) and performing ceremonies as they travelled. You can read more about this story and purchase this cushion cover from Better World Arts.

Winter is a perfect time of year to visit Australia's red centre because the weather is perfect, blue skies every day, and there are so many festivals and events that provide a great opportunity not only to learn more about the art and culture here but also to meet Alice locals.

Now that it is Spring, the temperature has jumped up into the low 30's. Cannot imagine living through summer here!

Happy Monday everyone x

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