ABORIGINAL ART & CULTURE

Raymond Bulambula: The right colour

We meet at the Milingimbi Art Centre as Raymond Bulambula has suggested that we join him to collect ochres which he will then use to create a new painting. So it is that Raymond, Zanette, Andrea and I head out of Milingimbi township in the morning light, along a small bush track and to a nearby coastal mangrove area.

"The tide this morning is quite high and is still coming in so Raymond inspects the rocks at the water line"

The tide this morning is quite high and is still coming in so Raymond inspects the rocks at the water line. It is a calm and beautiful day, as is every day in Milingimbi in July, the temperature nudging 30 degrees.

Here Raymond’s skilled eye selects small rocks which are then split using a hammer. If the colour looks correct Raymond then puts the rock in his container so it can be taken back to the art centre. This beach is where rocks are collected, that once ground, make the yellow and red ochre used by the community’s artists. The black used in Raymond’s paintings is from the Dhangi Tree and white clay, when white is required, is collected from the island of Gananagarr. Raymond tells us that white colour can also be collected from the foreshore at low tide.

In this clip Raymond collects the rocks that give him just the right colour to make the ochres and then uses the end result to work on a new painting at the Milingimbi Art Centre where he works as the cultural advisor. As well as producing his own artworks his role is to assist other artists with advice regarding which stories and totems they are allowed to paint and which colours may be used.

Here is the link to the Milingimbi Art Centre Facebook page:

SUBJECT: Aboriginal art / Collecting ochre / Painting / Arnhem Land