Basket (Rene Nelson)
Basket (Rene Nelson)

Basket (Rene Nelson)

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Material: Tjanpi (grass), wool, raffia

Dimensions: D17cm x H6cm

About the Maker: Rene Nelson is an artist belonging to the Ngaanyatjarra and Pitjantjatjara language and cultural groups in Western Australia and South Australia. Rene was born at a site called Parunpii in the late 1940s and spent her childhood travelling the bush with her family. Rene now lives in the remote community of Irrunytju (Wingellina) WA and spends most days weaving with her sister Stacia Lewis.

Rene began basket-making in 1997 and participated in some of Tjanpi’s earliest exhibitions. Most recently, Rene exhibited a large, bright-eyed camel at Revealed 2017 at Fremantle Arts Centre WA. She followed this up with an artist residency at the National Museum of Australia in September 2017 as part of the award-winning Songlines Tracking the Seven Sisters exhibition.

Rene is a kind and caring woman and an absolute powerhouse basket-maker. When you sit down and spend 􀆟me with Rene and her sister Stacia you know you are in for a great afternoon of fun, baskets, and cups of tea.

About the Group: Tjanpi Desert Weavers, a signatory to the Indigenous Art Code, is a dynamic social enterprise of the NPY Women's council. Tjanpi (meaning 'dry grass') supports Aboriginal women living in remote Central and Western desert communities to create contemporary fibre art.

When collecting desert grasses (minarri, wangurnu and yilintji), women visit sacred sites and traditional homelands, hunt and gather food for their families, and teach children about country. Grass is bound with wool, string or raffia and combined with yinirnti (red seeds of the bat-wing coral tree) and wipiya (emu feathers).

Photos: Tjanpi Desert Weavers