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Close of up a hands engraving a detail pattern into a shell

Darrell Sibosado
Ngarrgidj Morr (the proper path to follow)

Creation date: 2022 Location: Gallery 12
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Darrell Sibosado, Bard people, Ngarrgidj Morr (the proper path to follow), 2022, commissioned by the National Gallery of Australia, Kamberri/Canberra for the 4th National Indigenous Art Triennial: Ceremony, courtesy the artist

Artist Darrell Sibosado on Ngarrgidj Morr (the proper path to follow)

I think I'm doing exactly what my ancestors were doing, you know, hundreds and thousands of years ago. I can feel it when I'm sitting down with a piece of pearl shell. It's a spiritual thing, and for the Bard people that mother of pearl… It's, it's given to us.

I'm trying to give the essence of the language of this specific country that is actually speaking. And I just hope when they see my work people will realise that there are many languages spoken. And there are some ancient ones that are still alive today. And not everyone's language is spoken the way you speak yours.

Ngarrgidj Morr (the proper path to follow) is based on our ceremonial processes, and the stories, motifs and designs or patterns that have been passed down to myself and my brothers. It’s not really about the ceremony itself; what it’s about is the process of what it takes you to even get to the ceremony, which is a ceremony in itself. It’s a whole ritual, getting to the ceremony ground. It’s about the movement of people and your right to be part of that ceremony, or your position as part of that ceremony. It’s about everyone’s connection to it and where they belong within it. The three designs are about location (where you are), practice (what you do) and position (your individual place or status within the group), all combined to reveal the right pattern for you personally.

— Darrell Sibosado, 2021