Friday, September 17, 2021

Tjanpi Desert Weavers

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Exhibition, National Gallery of Australia, Until 4th July 2021, Free Entry

This large-scale installation by the Tjanpi Desert Weavers tells the ancestral story of the Seven Sisters Dreaming, using sculptural forms woven from materials including tjanpi (the Pitjantjatjara word for grass) and raffia.

Tjanpi Desert Weavers

In the Dreaming story, the seven sisters are pursued across the land by a man called Nyiru, or Nyirunya. He chases the sisters up into the sky and down to earth again, intent on marrying the eldest of the women. Eventually, the sisters are transformed into the constellation of Pleiades and Nyiru assumes the form of Orion.

The Tjanpi Desert Weavers use native grasses to create contemporary fibre art. The artists represent 26 remote communities located on Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (NPY) lands in the Northern Territory, Western Australia and South Australia. A social enterprise of the NPY Women’s Council, the Tjanpi Desert Weavers travel vast distances to weave together, and their work is underpinned by a strong connection to Country, culture and community.

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