Mavis Ngallametta is the leading elder of the women painters and weavers working at the Wik and Kugu Art Centre in Aurukun. As a young girl, Mavis was taught by her elders the traditional methods of weaving and basketry using cabbage palm and pandanus. She grew up in the missionary dormitories but was able to maintain close links with her family and is known in the community as a strong cultural woman. She was granted the Community Arts Achievement Award in 2004 for her contribution to the school and community where she teaches the children traditional crafts. Mavis has exhibited extensively and has facilitated weaving workshops as well as performed traditional dancing and singing throughout Australia.
Mavis began painting in 2008, after a workshop at the Wik and Kugu Art and Craft Centre facilitated by Gina Allain with whom she continues to work alongside as a mentor for the Creative Livelihoods Project. She has been developing her own original artistic style, reminiscent of the Abstract Expressionists. Her paintings are based on community life and country and she uses traditional clays and ochres as well as bright acrylics.
Press release courtesy Martin Browne Contemporary.