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Indepth Arts News:

"Balarinji: Ancient Culture, Contemporary Design"
2003-07-04 until 2004-06-01
Powerhouse Museum
Sydney, , AU Australia

Discover for yourself what Qantas, AAT Kings, Coca-ColaTM , a Japanese kimono and Indigenous Dreaming stories have in common at the first-ever exhibition by Balarinji, an Indigenous graphic design studio. Balarinji: ancient culture, contemporary design, opening at the Powerhouse Museum on 4 July, is a compilation of innovative and Indigenous graphic design work spanning 20 years.

The exhibition incorporates a contemporary display of graphic works and three- dimensional objects by the progressive studio made famous by their iconic and vibrantly painted Qantas Wunala (kangaroo) Dreaming 747 aircraft.

On display are corporate commissions such as the Qantas aircraft models, Coca-ColaTM bottle artwork; graphic design poster and banner works; community works; Balarinji retail products including a Balarinji designed Japanese silk kimono and individual artwork pieces.

"Balarinji represents a fresh approach to the overall structure of Australian design culture and is forging significant new paths in connecting traditionally oriented Indigenous symbolisms with contemporary Indigenous designs", says curator and head of Koori History and Culture, James Wilson-Miller. "This exhibition is a must-see for all who are interested in the future of Australian design".

In addition to the captivating Indigenous Dreaming stories, bold earthy colours and diverse cutting-edge design applications, the exhibition also tells the inspiring story of Balarinjiís pioneering company owner, John Moriarty, as an Indigenous Australian. From the humble beginnings of river turtle motifs printed on family bed linen, grew a multi-disciplinary contemporary Indigenous design house with operations stretching across four continents.

For the past 20 years, Balarinji has been pushing the boundaries and signaturing Australiaís unique Indigenous cultures for the world to see.

1 Balarinji is the company name for Balarinji Design Studio which is part of The Jumbana Group, owned by John and Ros Moriarty. Balarinji: ancient culture, contemporary design is the title of the Powerhouse Museumís exhibition which is on display from 4 July 2003.

Balarinji, where Indigenous Dreaming connects with contemporary design, is on display within the Museumís permanent Indigenous exhibition Bayagul: contemporary Indigenous communication.

In conjunction with these exhibitions, a full colour 80-page book including a feature on John Moriarty has been published and is available for $19.95 RRP from the Powerhouse Museum Shop, Powerhouse Publishing mail-order and good bookstores.

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