Benson, Grass Basket with Feathers, c. 1997.
Fiber art by aboriginal women now
A touring exhibition of baskets and other weavings by Aboriginal
women of the central and western deserts of Australia, Manguri
Weaving will be on display at the Kluge-Ruhe
Art Collection through Aug. 16. In addition, Diane Bell from
George Washington University will talk about the artwork June
20 at 7 p.m. at 400 Peter Jefferson Place. To reserve a seat at
the lecture, call 244-0234.
exhibit blends traditional elements, such as the manguri,
a circular hair ring used to stabilize a wooden dish carried on
the head, with innovative design, especially in baskets incorporating
native grasses, seeds, feathers and recently introduced materials
like wool. There is even a woven sculpture of a woman
making a basket.
women from the desert regions have long made objects combining
fiber and hair-string: hair-string belts, head bands and skirts.
They collect materials during trips into the bush.
weaving has emerged as a new art form, with all of the objects
on display created since 1995. Unlike wooden bowls, the baskets
are not primarily functional. The Manguri Weaving
exhibit stresses the contemporary nature of these baskets and
their importance in providing income and meaningful employment
to Aboriginal women in remote areas.