Sculpture | Tjulpu Bird by Rochelle Ferguson | Tjanpi | 47 x 41cm

This exquisite bird 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.

Rochelle Ferguson is a young woman from Irruntyju (Wingellina) community in WA. She has spent most of her adult years in Alice Springs with her family and her children. She is learning her weaving skills from her mother Ann Cleary who is an accomplished artist from WA. Rochelle and her mother have a style of weaving that is quite different from any other at Tjanpi and incorporates grasses they have found in a secret spot along the river bed due to the high levels of rain over the past year. Her style is very intricate and she dyes the grasses herself.

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: 47 (L) x 41cm (W)
Please note these measurements are approximate due to the 3D nature of Tjanpi sculptures.

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