Grasslands: Stories of works in fibre
Welcome to the Grasslands where you can explore the amazing works made from the wide variety of plants found across the wider world. These works often keep alive ancient traditions associated with the basic human functions of gathering and carrying food. The amazing skills of the makers reflect a deep knowledge and understanding of the natural world.
Ruth Woods nominates Pussy Willow Sunday (Palm Sunday) as an appropriate day in our calendar for visiting the Grasslands:
In Europe, you will find willow branches one of the most common for weaving – harvesting in the spring and creating beautiful baskets with this flexible fibre. The spring equinox was celebrated by the Pagans in the Eastern European pre-Christian era and a festival was held called Pussy Willow Sunday. Pussy Willow was the first in bud for spring and was said to be a wake-up call to the other flora. It was a sign of fertility and new life. The branches of the Pussy Willow were picked and gently whipped around young girls’ legs as a fertility rite. Also, women who were unable to have children would eat the buds of the Pussy Willow with the hope they would have a child. As Christianity became more popular it became part of Easter celebrations.
Enjoy a wander through our Grasslands…
Touching art - Jane Théau's work reflects the primordial role of tactility in the way we think and feel. dhurrung wurruki nyayl ngarrp – kunang - Tammy Gilson reflects on the combined Wadawurrung connection to Country and English sense of industry that has shaped her artistic path and social leadership. Manzanito ✿ A national hero of rural craft - Our Craft Currencies issue is dedicated to Luis Manzano Cabello, a rural artisan whose magic forms uplifted Chilean craft and inspired pride in vernacular traditions. Sally Blake ✿ Holding hope - Vy Tsan introduces an exhibition by Sally Blake that reflects the cycle of destruction and regeneration in the Canberra landscape. Ezra Shales: The Shape of Craft - In the seventh Reinventing the Wheel talk, Ezra Shales considers how we should value craft found in everyday work and life. Heron story - Ilka White is inspired to make work in response to the bird on behalf of whom she speaks. When the lorikeets call - Storied objects by Elisa Jane Carmichael reflect the enduring synchrony of species on her island of Minjerribah. long water: fibre stories - Freja Carmichael reflects on artists whose work provides a conduit for the spirit of fresh and salt water. Helen Ganalmirriwuy ✿ The magnificent gunga mat - Our November laurel is bestowed on Helen Ganalmirriwuy, who has produced a magnificent mat from gunga (pandanus). She shares the excitement of seeing this work grow over the month of weaving. Baskets for lemurs ✿ An epic challenge - Our second article by Wendy Golden describes an epic fibre construction for the new lemur enclosure at Melbourne Zoo. The needs of these primates from Madagascar are met by one of the largest basket projects in Australia. ヨークに渡った新潟のわらアート：日本に学ぶ干し草彫刻 - わらアート作家、守屋陽氏から私のもとに１通のメールには、日本で初めて出版されるというわらアートの本の英名が書かれていた。そのタイトルは「わらで地域を再生する」。その出版物やプロジェクトに似つかわしくないタイトルに私の口から笑みがこぼれた。わらアートは西オーストラリア州に何をもたらすのだろうか。そして、それは日本の地方で起きていることと、何か関係があるのだろうか。 Anxi: A city of rattan and iron - During a visit to the southern Chinese city of Anxi, I learnt that China was much more than the world's factory. Behind the scenes is a rich culture of folk craft and ritual. It seems that China is saving the best for last. Anne Jillett ✿ “Sitting on a milk crate each week…” - To celebrate the beautiful and thoughtful works that are made across the Indo-Pacific, we're introducing an "object of the month". The first of these laurels goes to Anne Jillett for her Salt Pot. Anne lives in Babinda, Queensland. You can see more of her work at Ellis Road Fibre Arts 4,000-year-old string discovered in Egypt - At Garland, we love stories of string. This rich article from a publication about coastal cultures includes the story of how perfectly preserved papyrus rope was discovered in a man-made cave in the ancient Egyptian harbour of Saww. String-lovers will enjoy this. Wickery and place - Ray Norman reveals the hidden world of wickery and its role in our musing places Where the weaver left off - Gwen Egg discovers an ingenious fibre "needle and thread" used in traditional Tasmanian Aboriginal basket weaving Building a better dome - Greg Lehman discovers tunapri knowledge involved in the construction of the palawa Tasmanian Aboriginal shelter