Tjawina Roberts a weaver from Irrunytju Community, South Australia, was born around 1940 at Kata Yurlu near Blackstone. After her mother died, Tjawina, her sister Karrika Belle Davidson and brother Tjuruparu Watson were brought to the Warburton mission by her family. As well as creating baskets and sculptures for Tjanpi Desert Weavers, Tjawina carves punu and works for Minyma Kutara Arts Project. Tjanpi (meaning ‘dry grass’) evolved from a series of basket weaving workshops held in remote communities in the Western Desert by the Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunyjatjara Women’s Council in 1995. Building on traditions of using fibre for medicinal, ceremonial and daily purposes, women took easily to making coiled baskets. These new-found skills were shared with relations on neighbouring communities and weaving quickly spread. Today over 400 women across 28 communities are making baskets and sculptures out of grass and working with fibre in this way is firmly embedded in Western and Central desert culture. While out collecting desert grasses for their fibre art women visit sacred sites and traditional homelands, hunt and gather food for their families and teach their children about country. Tjanpi Desert Weavers is Aboriginal owned and is directed by an Aboriginal executive. It is an arts business but also a social enterprise that provides numerous social and cultural benefits and services to weavers and their families. Tjanpi’s philosophy is to keep culture strong, maintain links with country and provide meaningful employment to the keepers and teachers of the desert weaving business.

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60cm (W) x 17cm (H)
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