Lizard Ngintaka Sculpture by Dallas Smythe | Tjanpi Desert Weavers

This exquisite Lizard Sculpture draws on the traditional practice of making manguri rings - a ring worn on the head made of woven grasses and cloth. Working with fibre in this way has become a fundamental part of Central and Western desert culture.  Here we see traditional techniques re-imagined using a mix of  traditional and contemporary materials - including wool! The result is a strikingly bold and colourful sculptural piece with layers of historical significance.

Dallas Smythe is an artist belonging to the Ngaanyatjarra language and cultural group in Western Australia. She comes from a prominent family of Tjanpi weavers and was taught fibre skills by her grandmother and Tjanpi artist Nora Holland (dec.). After her grandmother passed away, her mother-in-law and Tjanpi artist Nancy Nanana Jackson, took over her skills development. Such training in conjunction with her indomitable personality has seen her rise to early success and she has exhibited multiple times every year since 2014. This success was highlighted in 2015 when she won the $30,000 prize for Most Outstanding Work at the Port Hedland Art Awards.

Tjanpi Desert Weavers is a social enterprise of the Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yakunytjatjara (NPY) Women’s Council, working with women in the remote Central and Western desert regions who earn an income from contemporary fibre art. Tjanpi (meaning grass in Pitjantjatjara language) represents over 400 Anangu/Yarnangu women artists from 26 remote communities on the NPY lands.

Tjanpi artists use native grasses to make spectacular contemporary fibre art, weaving beautiful baskets and sculptures and displaying endless creativity and inventiveness. Tjanpi embodies the energies and rhythms of Country, culture and community. The shared stories, skills and experiences of this wide-reaching network of mothers, daughters, aunties, sisters and grandmothers form the bloodline of the desert weaving phenomenon and have fuelled Tjanpi’s rich history of collaborative practice.

You can view other works by Tjanpi Desert Weaver by clicking here.

Materials: Tjanpi (dry harvested grass), wool, raffia
Size: 78 (L) x 14 (H) x 35cm (W)

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