For the 2022 Melbourne Art Fair, MARS Gallery have decided to flex their curatorial capabilities.
Alongside Jenna Lee, are the stunning weavings of Carly Tarkari Dodd and the ochres of Michelle Woody Minnapinni from Jilamara Arts and Craft Association whose works featured in a sell-out exhibition of Tiwi art at MARS in early 2021.
Michelle Woody is a strong Tiwi culture woman and artist whose distinct painting style is becoming increasingly recognised on a national level. She often uses the distinct Tiwi pwoja (ironwood comb) to paint depictions of Ngiya Murakupuni (My Country), winga (saltwater) and jlamara (Tiwi body paint design). She is based in Melville Island.
Carly Tarkari Dodd is a proud Kaurna\Narungga and Ngarrindjeri artist based in Adelaide who is passionate about expressing her Aboriginal heritage through art and storytelling. Using weaving techniques, she creates three-dimensional works that celebrate the achievements of Aboriginal people alongside highlighting some of the injustices that Aboriginal people face. The process and materiality of the weaving process are central to the development of these works.
Collectors might recognise Jenna Lee’s name from this year’s Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award (NATSIAA) where she took out the Wandjuk Marika 3D Memorial Award. Lee is a Larrakia, Wardaman and Karajarri woman, based now in Melbourne , whose contemporary art practice explores the acts of identity, identification, labels and language. Being a Gay, Asian, Anglo-Australian, Aboriginal woman, Lee’s practice is strongly influenced by her overlapping identities and childhood memories. As an interdisciplinary artist, her work incorporates painting, projection, found object and sculpture with a reoccurring use of paper, language and text.
Uniquely Dinan has planned the show every step of the way with Jenna Lee and the final selection is an aesthetic, rather than political, one. While identified as indigenous, Woody, Dodd and Lee come from wildly disparate backgrounds. From Melville Island to Adelaide now to Melbourne , they bring a kaleidoscope of experiences to the party. What links them, Dinan says, is skill, beauty and both shared and disparate heritage.