Omie Women Artists, a current exhibition of contemporary bark cloth at Tunbridge Gallery, Perth.
Paintings on barkcloth, also known as ‘tapa’, are the customary textile of the Ömie. Women wear nioge (skirts) while men wear givai (loincloths). Ömie barkcloths are still worn today by men, women and children during traditional ceremonies which can involve feasting and spectacular performances of singing, dancing and kundu-drumming. Barkcloth also serves important purposes in marriage as offerings to the Ancestors, brideprice gifts, as well as in funerary and initiation ceremonies. It is an integral part of everyday life for the Ömie and plays a critical role in defining their unique cultural identity.
Omie Artists Inc. is a cooperative of Ömie tribeswomen from Oro Province in Papua New Guinea. Ömie Artists is fully owned and governed by Ömie people. Five Art Centres service artists across twelve villages and each of the centres play a vital role by ensuring that the ancient tradition of barkcloth painting as well as traditional culture remain strong and by providing economic returns to their artists.
Find out more here. hfx.