A BIPLANE and a car woven from grass represent the dramatic changes taking place in Aboriginal fibre art.
The works are included in a new touring exhibition, ReCoil , at Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute.
Curator Margie West said Recoil was inspired by a traditional coiled basketry technique and the way it had spread rapidly in remote Aboriginal communities.
Coiling took a new direction in the early 1990s when Aboriginal women began using their domestic coiling skills to make figurative works.
“There has been a lot more interest in women’s fibre works in the past decade or so,” Ms West said.
“I think women were encouraged by that and started to experiment a bit more, particularly in Central Arnhem Land where there wasn’t a really strong tradition of coiling.
“They started taking it out of the domestic sphere and into the fine art domain.”
Well-known South Australian artist Yvonne Koolmatrie, of Berri in the Riverland, was a key practitioner in the revival of the highly-skilled technique. She and another SA artist, Niningka Lewis, of Ernabella, have works in the exhibition.
Coiling traditionally was practised around the River Murray in the southeast of Australia.
The technique migrated to Arnhem Land with the missionaries.
More recently it was introduced in workshops to women in desert regions of the Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia. “As the weavers travel the influence of coiling keeps expanding,” Ms West said.
* ReCoil is at Tandanya until October 19.
Artist: Yvonne Koolmatrie, Niningka Lewis
Category: Australia ,