Exhibition of batiks celebrates the genesis of Indigenous women’s art practice

Desert Lines: Batik from Central Australia brings together around 60 selected works from the collection of the National Gallery of Victoria, each illustrating the unique and distinct batik styles of five central desert communities: Ernabella, Fregon, Utopia, Yuendumu and Kintore. Batik – a method of wax resist fabric printing – was first introduced to Indigenous women in 1971 and each of the five desert communities has approached the medium in artistically distinct ways. This exhibition will highlight the significance of batik work for women of the desert and enable links to be made between batiks and paintings of Pitjantjatjara, Anmatyerr, Alyawarr, Walpiri and Pintupi artists. It will also reveal differences in iconography, subject matter, palette and approaches to the hot wax and painting mediums across time and space. As senior curator of Indigenous art at the

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