What We Have Always Been

The Residency Arts Program is proud to present What We Have Always Been, an exhibition of mixed media works by Alice Springs artist Tamara Burlando, which highlights the important role of Aboriginal women in their community and how the simple daily ritual of making and sharing tea binds them together.

This solo exhibition contains portraits of female Aboriginal artists from Papunya, who are part of an important support network for their families and community. Tamara knows these women well, having worked with them and their families for many years and it is her respect for them as matriarchs that inspired and motivated this unique body of work.

The portraits, taken with a medium format camera, were developed and scanned before being transferred and printed onto a surface created from up-cycled, used tea-bags which have been carefully hand sewn onto calico to form a “quilt”.

The resulting works reference the introduction of goods such as tea, flour and sugar during the period of ‘first contact’ between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people, and highlight the importance of these basic staples as cornerstones of contemporary life in Papunya. Tamara explains that ‘The tea bags symbolise the dialogue between cultures and these artworks are a homage and testimony to Indigenous cultural survival and adaptation in Central Australia’.

What We Have Always Been is part of this year’s Alice Desert Festival and two public program activities will give people an opportunity to gain insight into Tamara’s work, through participation in a workshop and at an artist presentation:

Exhibition Opening: Friday 7th August – 6pm
Free event / bookings not necessary

Workshop: Saturday 29th August – 10am to 12.30 pm
Cost: $20 (includes morning tea)
Bookings: The Alice Desert Festival Website (http://alicedesertfestival.com.au/artists/tamara-burlando)

Artist Presentation: Monday 31st August – 6pm
Free event / bookings not necessary

The Residency is located on the corner of Parsons and Hartley Streets (next to the post office)
Opening Hours: Week days (10am – 3pm) and Todd Mall market days (10am – 2pm)

Copyright Tamara Burlando: Narlie Nakamarra
7 August7 September 2015
6pm – 3pm
The Residency, Corner of Parsons and Hartley Streets