Alvaro Catalán de Ocón / Bula'bula Artists / Spain / Australia

image of Alvaro Catalán de Ocón / Bula'bula Artists

Alvaro Catalán de Ocón designer
Spain born 1975
Lynette Birriran weaver
Djambarrpuyungu born 1960
Mary Dhapalany 1 weaver
Mandhalpuy born 1950
Judith Djelirr weaver
Liyagalawumirr born 1950
Julie Djulibing Malibirr weaver
Ganalbingu born 1948
Joy Gadawarr weaver
Dabi born 1960
Melinda Gedjen weaver
Liyagalawumirr born 1973
Betty Matjarra 1 weaver
Garrwura born 1949
Cecily Mopbarrmbrr weaver
Marrangu born 1995
Evonne Munuyngu weaver
Mandhalpuy born 1960
Studio Alvaro Catalán de Ocón, Madrid design studio
Spain est. 2004
ACdO, Madrid manufacturer
Spain est. 2014

In 2016 Alvaro Catalán de Ocón and members of his studio travelled to Ramingining in Arnhem Land to work with a group of Yolngu artists. The collaborative design process, led by Catalán de Ocón, devised a way to join weavings, repurposing traditional Yolngu mats as PET Lamp chandeliers.

The Yolngu practice of weaving is intrinsically linked to the experience of being a woman, since the knowledge associated with collecting, processing and dyeing the pandanus plant is transmitted from mother to daughter. The combination of many artists’ hands instils in each mat the identity and place specific to each artist, as well as a connection with Country from which the materials have been gathered.


Yolngu artists working at Bula’bula Arts, Ramingining are highly regarded for their unique paintings on bark and canvas, dupun (hollow logs), yidaki (didgeridu), and fibre art such as bush string bags and beautifully woven pandanus mats. A group of renowned Bula’bula fibre artists have collaborated on this project. Alvaro Catalán de Ocón started the PET Lamp project as a response to the global problem of plastic waste, combining the reclamation of plastic bottles with local textile traditions from around the world. The project explores possibilities for design collaborations with Indigenous artists to create unique and resonant works that also generate ongoing income for their communities.

A collaboration between Studio Alvaro Catalán de Ocón and Bula’bula Arts Aboriginal Corporation commissioned by the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne with the support of Vicki Vidor OAM and Peter Avery Proposed acquisition