The literal meaning of Yutu Dugitj can be both ‘a seed growing’ or ‘a grey hair sprouting.’ Margaret Gamuti explains that Yutu Dugitj is also a metaphor for the senior and young women coming together at their art centre to share skills and ideas, to work side-by-side while they make their weaving’s. The collaborative lampshade project with Koskela has attracted many younger generation artist’s.
The Milingimbi artist’s weave with native fibres harvested from Milingimbi and surrounding island Homeland’s. Fibres include; Gunga (pandanus), Balgurr (kurrajong) and Djan’pa (native fig root), these are dyed with the roots, bark and leaves of native plants and woven onto the fabricated frames designed by Koskela.
Milingimbi Art and Culture and Koskela began working together in early 2016. Our partnership began ambitiously with two large scale woven ‘reflection pods’ commissioned by Westpac bank for their corporate headquarters in Sydney. Yuwaalaraay designer Lucy Simpson developed the concept for the ‘reflection pods’ as a way of creating intimate meeting spaces.
In a media statement in early 2017 the Milingimbi artists commented;
We come to the art centre every morning doing djama (weaving work). Going home keep doing djama 5, 6, 7 o’clock lights on now. 8, 9 o’clock. At the wanga (home) the grandchildren are helping, collecting firewood and roots, bark and leaves (used for dying natural fibres). This is how they learn their culture and law.
At the art centre we are thinking together how to put the gunga ga bulgurr onto the frame but we all use our own miny’tji (design). We all know different ways of weaving and knotting. Putting our work side-by-side with all our different miny’tji together to make one yindi (big) artwork makes it really latju (beautiful).
The djamarrkuli (kids) come from the school (as part of the Junior Crocodile Rangers program). They are looking at what we are doing and walking around to see the new weaving.
Today we keep coming to the art centre every morning, sometimes working on yindi projects together and also doing our own djama. Weaving is dharrwa djama (lots of work) but we are happy to keep going.
Yutu Dugitj lampshades can be purchased from Koskela online or from their showroom in Rosebery, Sydney.