“Apmere werne apetye-arlpaye”: Amengkwerne making softball

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“Apmere werne apetye-arlpaye”: Amengkwerne making softball

by Margaret Palmer & Vicki Crowley

Friday 6th March, 6pm

Saturday 7th March, 11am

Wednesday 18th March, 6pm

4th – 21st March 2020

APMERE WERNE APETYE-ARLPAYE: Amwengkwerne making softball features quirky and evocative papier mâché figures that conjure the skill, humour and pathos of the legendary game of softball as it has been played and celebrated by the women and girls of Amwengkwerne (Amoonguna) since the 1960s.

Margaret Palmer, first time Anmatyerr artist, softball player, teacher (and much more) along with Vicki Crowley (fellow teacher and player), responded to the call from old-time team-mates for the story of their riotous softball success to be told. In 1982, Margaret, Vicki and seven others, donned home-made uniforms and entered the town competition. Audaciously, they blitzed the town competition and were premiers. They played the following year and were premiers again, and again and again after that.

Part whimsy, part documentary, certainly playful as well as deadly serious, the exhibition features the “black pants team”, “the blue pants teams”, “the old women who came to watch us play” as well as the “Amoonguna softball taxi” to conjure heart, home, brilliance and country in a community that is so close to Alice Springs and, like the game of softball, is so often under-rated and overlooked.

Collaborating artist, Vicki Crowley, will canvass the vexed cultural politics of ‘making’ to showcase a fabulous story that took place in the heart of Alice Springs and continues to bring pride and pleasure to the women and families of those who play softball for Amoonguna/Amengkwerne.

Softball as metaphor, creative co-motion and bemusement amid persistence will be opened for ‘critique’ where ‘critique’ itself will be canvassed as counter-powers valuing the primacy of relations, the mundane and being champions in Mparntwe-Alice Springs.

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