The Yulparitja artists of Bidyadanga near Broome have used their agency with that town’s Short St Gallery to supply their art to Sydney company, Designer Rugs to produce a set of substantial floor-coverings. Five masters of Yulparitja art – Weaver Jack, Jan Billycan, Alma Webou, Lydia Balbal and Daniel Walbidi are involved “ with the Walbidi rug coming in two versions depending on a house’s shape. All designs are currently on show in Queen Street, Woollahra “ but only until Sunday.
This is the second collaboration Designer Rugs has had with Aboriginal artists. Agents for the late Minnie Pwerle supplied seven of the artist’s trademark hectic designs to make two by three metre rugs from New Zealand wool, and they were popular. This time there are some size variations and the rugs have been hand-made with hair knots in Nepal using Tibetan sheeps’ wool. Pick of the bunch “ artistically “ has to be Jan Billycan’s work, ‘Kirriwirri‘. But both Lydia Balbal’s ‘Pikarong‘ and Weaver Jack’s ‘Lungarung‘ would find room in my house “ especially as the rugs at about $5000 are cheaper than the original paintings would have been!
Possibly this price is because, unlike the Pwerles, the Yulparitja rugs won’t be in limited editions. But they will be produced to order.
After this weekend, Designer Rugs can be found in Leichhardt where the Indigenous rugs will lie beside such famous designers’ as Akira Isogawa, Catherine (Luhrmann) Martin, Dinosaur Designs and Vivian Chan Shaw.
Artist: Weaver Jack, Jan Billycan, Alma Webou, Lydia Balbal, Daniel Walbidi, Minnie Pwerle,
Gallery: Designer Rugs ,