I'd booked my ticket to fly up to Alice Springs the night before I boarded the plane, barely time to pack after a family gathering. I haven't been that spontaneous in the longest time and it was great to let go of all those things that have been bothering me all year and spend some time in the most incredible and spiritually inspiring landscape. In solitude, I found myself again.
There are a number of cultures which make use of this sort of basket coiling technique. I've luckily been taught by another inspiring woman, Maryann Talia Pau this technique for creating baskets. Tjanpi Desert Weavers have taken this particular technique and created all sorts of three dimensional objects; figures, the animals of the desert and even the humble car. An exhibition titled String Theory, at the MCA in Sydney was the first time I'd come across their work. I sat next to Margaret and wove away under her instruction, watching as she carefully inserted more raffia into the basket and wove with the ease of years of practice. I'm forever indebted.
Margaret and her finished basket
The MCA website has lots of great information and a few sound recordings on the exhibition String Theory, a great resource if you're at all interested in Contemporary Australian Art.