Noŋgirrŋa Marawili uses magenta pigment from discarded printer cartridges to create her works of art. Magenta dye was developed in 1856 and is named after a bloody battle in the Italian town of Magenta. Today the pigment is made using the organic molecule Quinacridone and is found in outdoor paints, inkjet printer ink and laser printer toners.

  • What other things do you associate with the colour magenta?
  • Investigate the history of pigments. What surprising or unusual stories can you discover? Write a narrative poem about the life of your favourite colour.
  • After looking closely at Marawili’s bark paintings, what kind of music do you think would complement her work?

Noŋgirrŋa Marawili is a painter and a printmaker. Make a unique stencil and create a monochromatic design using your favourite colour.


  • Brown or scrap paper/card
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paper or fabric for printing your design on
  • Foam roller, sponge or paint paintbrush

Step 1

Fold a piece of brown paper or scrap paper in half and draw a design on the folded edge. Keep the design simple, think about shapes or lines that could create an interesting pattern and perhaps mean something to you or are inspired by place where you live.

Step 2

Once you are happy with your design cut it out, making sure you keep the paper folded. 

Step 3

Unfold the paper to reveal your stencil design.

Step 4

Place the stencil over the top of your clean paper or fabric. Holding your stencil in place, use a foam roller to paint over your stencil. Use just one colour to start with. Tip: You may want to secure the edges of your paper and stencil before you begin.

Step 5

Repeat the process using different tints and shades of your colour, overlapping your design to create an interesting pattern. You might like to swap stencils with other people in your class.