A connection is being made – or rather painted – between Indonesia, the Yolngu people and the city of Bega through a new piece of public art.
This month, Indonesian artist Dias Prabu worked with two local artists at the Bega Valley Regional Gallery to paint a mural on the gallery’s construction site hoarding.
“Dias Prabu, mural painter and creator of tulis batik (hand-drawn batik) from Yogyakarta, will be assisted in its work by local artists Stan Squire, Mike Barnard and Ness Mercieca,” said gallery director Iain Dawson.
“It’s an exciting way to animate the construction of the new gallery.
“Having an artist of Dias’ caliber here is such an honor and a great way for artist peers to connect with each other across national borders.”
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The mural evokes the connection between the Macassan people of Indonesia and the Yolngu people of the Northern Territory, as well as the development of relations between Indonesia and the Bega Valley.
In 2014, Mr. Prabu won a mural design competition at the National Gallery of Indonesia and his mural was painted on the gallery wall, where it still hangs today.
In his batik works, he uses a traditional tool of hot wax canting to create large-scale hand-dyed textile works.
The designs are inspired by Indonesian folklore and legends represented by designs of hybrid figures, mythological beings and the contemporary refiguration of traditional Indonesian motifs and symbols.
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During the painting of the mural in Bega, the contemporary art group of Mr. Prabu Kultura Collectiva also presented a traditional Indonesian dance on site.
Mr Dawson said the redevelopment of the regional gallery was heading towards a summer opening date.