Scultpure | Tjilkamarta Echidna by Priscilla McLean | Tjanpi | 36 x 20 x 10cm

This whimsical echidna 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.

Priscilla McLean is an artist belonging to the Ngaanyatjarra language and cultural group, whose creative and arts practice covers a broad range of disciplines. Priscilla grew up and continues to reside in the remote community of Mantamaru, Western Australia, located 1600 km north east of Perth. Priscilla began weaving in 2019 at a Tjanpi Desert Weavers skills development workshop in Mantamaru, Western Australia. Prior to this she had watched her aunt, fellow Tjanpi ar st Peggy Simms weaving baskets around the fire at night. Priscilla is inspired by central Australian animals and focuses on sculpting tjilkamarta (echidna), mingkirri (mice), camels and papas (dogs).

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: 36 (L) x 20 (H) x 10cm (W)
Please note these measurements are approximate due to the 3D nature of Tjanpi sculptures.

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