Amanda Smith

Bayulu Community
Gooniyandi Language

When I first started at Marninwarntikura, I worked as the coordinator of the Mobile Playgroup and then as the Tenancy Coordinator in the Community Programs Unit. In early 2014 I started working with the women in Marnin Studio learning how to dye scarves, carve textile blocks and print material.

I come here because I feel strong working with all of the other women. When I'm in the studio I feel more confident and when I take my scarves home to dye them together with my nephews, nieces and my only son, we all feel more connected. I really like to explain to the customers how I make my scarves and what I use. I feel proud when I share my stories and see the customers wearing my scarves. I have recently graduated from the Marnin Studio program and, with their support, have started my own bush dyeing business from my community.

April Jones

Bayulu Community
Gooniyandi Language

I worked for a very long time at Mangkaja Arts Resource Centre in Fitzroy Crossing, painting on canvas. I moved to Port Hedland and Broome to teach language at TAFE and then later I moved back to Fitzroy Crossing to teach at Karrayili Adult Education Centre.

In 2007 I came to Marninwarntikura Women's Resource Centre Art Therapy Studio to learn sewing and how to make curtains. In 2014 I started working with Marnin Studio learning how to create block prints and screen prints, which I use on paper, cotton, linen and silk. I really like working here and I like to be creative. I feel good and happy coming to the studio and proud when people look at my artwork. I enjoy painting bush tucker including echidna, emu and turtle.

Deborah Yadda

Mindi Rardi Community
Walmajarri Language

I first started painting at home many years ago and then painted with Marra Worra Worra arts workshop. I painted canvas and boomerangs and they were sold in Queensland. In 2007 I started selling boab nuts, paintings, tortoise shell and swordfish comb through Mangkaja Arts.

In 2012 I started working at Marnin Studio painting boab nuts and weaving baskets. I like painting because it makes me busy and it takes my mind off other things. The studio is comfortable and we can enjoy painting. I feel relaxed when I'm painting at the studio with all my friends. I feel good when I get paid for painting boab nuts. It's the right way, sharing and caring with everybody.

Doris Doherty

Bayulu Community
Gooniyandi Language

I grew up here working on Gogo Station. I have been making art since the 1980's, when I learnt painting and coolamon carving with the elders. Later my sister from Ngumpan taught me how to make jewellery from the nuts and seeds found in the bush. I now work at Marnin Studio making jewellery and stitching bush toys. The studio gives us a great opportunity to make regular money to support our families, as well as sharing our stories and culture. It's a stable place where we can come together, relax, have a yarn and connect with other women.

Lee-Anne Williams

Junjuwa Community
Bunuba/ Wangkatjunka Language

I started painting boab nuts at Marnin Studio in 2011. My great talent and interest in printing has come from my grandparents. My interest in fashion design started in 2017, where we ran a fashion design project for the
Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair. I went to Melbourne as part of that project to look at different types of design including jewellery, shoe and clothing design. I have recently started my own business in printing with the support of the studio and their partner program, Design Within Country and the Earthed Foundation.

I love painting and designing as I can lose myself and stop worrying about other things happening around me. I love the space at Marnin Studio and also love the feeling that I can make others understand more about our culture. I hope to inspire other young local kids to get involved also.

Marion Bear

Kurnangki Community
Walmajarri Language

I began making art later in life. When I was a beginner I was inspired by the other ladies at Marnin Studio and they were very encouraging. They taught me that I could be creative too.

Now, I really enjoy my time in the studio and specialise in painting boab nuts, canvases and creating beautiful bush dyed scarves. I am inspired by the colours of this earth through the wet and dry seasons in the Kimberly.

It's a great way to relax and meet with other women. It also feels very purposeful to be sharing our stories and inspiring other women to be creative too.

Nita Williams

Junjuwa Community
Wangkatjanka Language

My mother and grandmother came from the Great Sandy Desert. In 2006 I was working at home on the verandah making baskets in pretty colours when the CEO of the Women's Resource Centre, June Oscar was driving past my house. She stopped and said, 'They look really good. Can you come to the Centre and show the ladies how to make baskets'? I said, 'Alright then'. I've been coming here ever since.

I started painting boab nuts at Marnin Studio in 2013, people really liked them and the orders started coming in so I stayed to help paint boabs to sell in Sydney and Melbourne. Painting is really big in our family. My mum painted for Mangkaja Arts in Fitzroy Crossing. I like to paint. I feel good when I paint boab nuts at the studio. I can relax and really think about my painting.

Phyllis Waye

Bayulu Community
Wongai Language

I come from Jamieson, which was a mission near the Warburton Ranges in the desert country. I was the last person at the mission before it was closed down. I started at Marnin Studio in 2013 when April Jones suggested that I come along to do some work. I started thinking about country and all of the food that I can show others about and I decided to do this painting on boab nuts. I also started to stitch woollen animals. The animal designs represent what is found in the local area. I learnt how to stitch from Megan Kirwan Ward, a visiting artist who showed us how to translate our knowledge of the local animals so we can share our knowledge with other people from other places. I also started making jewellery in 2017 with local nuts and seeds. I add glass beads to signify the land that we live on and the rocks of the desert. Through the jewellery I can share my memories of the desert and the old people who were part of my life.