Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Tjanpi Desert Weavers

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.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Caterpillar Dreaming

I never dreamed I would fall in love with such a wild and inhospitable landscape nor feel that childhood tug of seeing the world with fresh eyes while standing in front of it as a 35 year old woman. How had I never seen this before, this landscape, it's people, this spiritual place? There is no way to describe the scale of it. Words and photographs fail me - the sheer emptiness of the landscape, dotted with mountain-scapes and rock formations reminiscent of moon voyages. Then there is that red dirt, I still can't bring myself to wash the stuff out of my sneakers. 
Caterpillar Dreaming / Alice
Standley Chasm
Simpsons Gap
Kata Tjuta / Valley of the Winds Trail
Sunrise / Uluru
Rock Painting / Uluru
Kings Canyon
The Garden of Eden / Kings Canyon
Trephina Gorge / East MacDonnell Ranges