Presented by Araluen Arts Centre
Apmere-werne apetye-arlpaye… Amengkwerne Softball, an exhibition by former team players and artists Margaret Palmer and Vicki Crowley, celebrating the story of the Amengkwerne (Amoonguna) softball teams.
The exhibition, comprising quirky and evocative papier mâché figures made by Palmer and Crowley, recreates and conjures up the skill, happiness, humour and power of those legendary softball teams – the women and girls of Amoonguna who have played the game since the 1960s.
Margaret and Vicki began making the sculptures together in 2016. Together they made approximately 40 papier mâché sculptures over three years, telling the story of the 1982 Black Pants softball team and the 1983-84 Blue Pants softball teams that they both played in, along with the ‘old ladies who came to watch us play’.
The process of making the works for Apmere-werne apetye-arlpaye… Amengkwerne Softball led to and were in turn the result of many conversations with players, children, grannies, aunties and cousins, with everyone looking at old photos and reminiscing. They told and listened to wild stories about playing softball in town and out bush.
The making of the work was in that way communal and grounded in community, full of memory and history, and an emotional process as they made figures representing dear teammates from those teams who had passed.
To this day, softball is a great story of pride, happiness, humour and strength for the women and girls of Amengkwerne and their families. The exhibition captures that pride, power and joy for Amengkwerne and all those who played and play softball across the desert region.