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ARTISTS

Mary Dhapalany

  • Born 1950 in Gulpilil, Australia.
  • Ramingining, Australia.

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Woven Mat (2021) and Woven Wrap (2022) are the product of traditional craft techniques for weaving pandanus leaf dyed in bright colors. These are the creations of Mary Dhapalany, a Mandhalpuy woman born in North East Arnhem Land in Australia. Dhapalany learned to weave mats for ritual or ceremonial purposes at an early age. The mats and wraps that she produces today are not just symbolic of indigenous history and cultures, they represent the present for the indigenous peoples in Australia. These works are based on the religious concept of “Dreaming,” and they are an expression of the connections between the people, their ancestors, the land, and their communities. They derive from a worldview in which the activities of the spirits of ancestors that dwell in all things are part of the present, past and future. The creation of artworks, which occurs through the Dreaming, is a present-time act that maintains connections with ancestral spirits.

From 1788, the people of Australia were subject to violently imposed British colonization, a process that left many dead and lands plundered for resources. Under colonial rule, Aboriginal art was “discovered” and classified as primitive art. It was not recognized for its value as contemporary art until the 1980s. Many of the Indigenous people actively involved in this reevaluation of Aboriginal art engage in productive activities based on their own traditions to express their own worldview, their culture, and their tragic history. Dhapalanyʼs works consist of motifs that are powerful reminders of celebrations and rituals that are predominantly part of her peopleʼs way of life. Understanding their history and traditions leads to a deeper understanding of the works that goes far beyond mere aesthetic appreciation.

Mary Dhapalanyʼs artistic career spans over forty years. Examples of her body of works are part of many significant collections, including those of the National Gallery of Victoria (Melbourne, Australia), Artbank (Sydney, Australia) and The University of Chicago Booth School of Business (USA).

Selected Exhibition
2022
Kathmandu Triennale 2077, Nepal

Exhibition

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  • Installation view at Aichi Triennale 2022
  • Photo: ToLoLo studio
Open
10:00-18:00 (20:00 on Fridays)

*Last admission 30 min before closing time

Closed
Mondays (except for public holidays)
Venue / Access
Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art Gallery (8F)
  • 3 minutes on foot from Sakae Station on the Higashiyama Subway Line or Meijo Subway Line.
  • 3 minutes on foot from Sakae-Machi Station on the Meitetsu Seto Line.