Art Right Now's Festive Fibre: mats, baskets and banumbirr from Arnhem Land exhibition - 2005
Published Wednesday, 30 November 2005Dreaming of an artistic Christmas? Visit us at Span Galleries in Melbourne, where you can purchase a unique artefact from a collection of woven fibre and sculpture by Top End artists.
Festive fibre features an exciting, handpicked selection of colourful twined pandanus mats, coiled baskets and banumbirr (Morning Star Poles) by indigenous artists from Maningrida and Elcho Island in Arnhem Land.
The centrepiece of the exhibition is a stunning, 2.5-metre high ochre and feather-decorated banumbirr by David Lakarriny Gurruwiwi (detail illustrated below left), a Galpu man from Elcho Island, a traditional Yolngu community approximately 550 km north-east of Darwin. Banumbirr are sacred feathered poles used in mortuary and memorial ceremonies. The tufts of feathers represent the Morning Star, which journeys over the sea countries of northern Australia. Three poles by Frank Djekula are also featured (two shown below right).
Festive fibre also features mats and baskets by prominent female Maningrida artists, including a densely woven oval mat by Lorna Jin-gubarrangunyja, winner of the 2003 Wandjuk Marika 3D Memorial Award at the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award in Darwin. Lorna is featured in the New Acquisitions: Indigenous Australian Art exhibition currently on show at the Queensland Art Gallery.
Smaller, inexpensive works include a selection of baskets and dilly bags in the distinctive natural dyes and ochres of Arnhem Land.
Festive fibre is on display at SPAN Galleries until 17 December.
Martin Shub & Helen Bongiorno
Tel. 0412 477556 & 0411 134196
SPAN Galleries, 45 Flinders Lane Melbourne VIC 3000 Tel: (03) 9650 0589
Gallery Hours: Tue - Fri 11am - 5pm Sat 11am - 4pm