Bathi: Basket Weavers of Arnhemland

Wednesday 13 March - Sunday 28 April 2019


In this exhibition, the Arnhem Weavers present an intimate display of finely crafted woven bathi (baskets). The bathi represented here tell the continuing story of Yolngu people maintaining strong connections to their country. The women who have made these baskets work on their ancestral lands, evolving traditions that have been passed down from their ancestors before them. The baskets here are their family story.

The long history of fibre weaving in Australia continues to be expressed in the lives of the Arnhem Weavers. Weaving is a multi-generational practice and it is not uncommon for four generations of women to sit and share weaving together. While story and chatter provide the backdrop, the maker’s hands apply techniques of weaving, twining and rolling to the processed coloured materials, growing the bathi into their sculptural forms. Taking time to practice and teach this traditional technique allows them to maintain strong connections to country and Yolngu culture. In this way, the practical and time-based aspects support the younger generations to develop confidence and pride in their culture whilst also teaching balanda (non- indigenous people) to develop an appreciation about the Yolngu way of being and living.

Participating artists: Margaret Bambalarra, Felicity Barrumiwuy, Laura Djinimbiliwuy, Julianne Gitjpulu, Caroline Gulumindiwuy, Trish Gunumburpur, Roslyn Malngumba, Linda Maywundjiwuy, Erica Rawurruwuy, Wendy Wulnguwulngu, Kinisha Wutumurrwuy