Spinifex Country

Ilka White, Desert Life (under, inside, all around...), 2006 spinifex, budgerigar feathers, silk, camel hair, cloth, paper, thread dimensions variable, each 3-10cm (c) courtesy the artist

Spinifex Country



1 October 2013

5 October – 8 December

Flinders University City Gallery
State Library of South Australia

Australian Aboriginal Cultures Gallery (Special Exhibitions) South Australian Museum

Curated by Heidi Pitman and Fiona Salmon

Spinifex (Triodia sp.) is a tough, spiky, tussock grass that thrives in poor soils and covers more than 20 per cent of the Australian continent. While providing habitat for reptiles, birds and small mammals, it defines much of the country’s arid landscape. Traditionally spinifex has been an important resource for Aboriginal people – foremost as a source of resin and as a building material for windbreaks and shelters but also for fishing and trapping, as fuel for fire, for medicinal and other innovative applications.

Comprising material culture, historic photographs and contemporary works of art – including important works from Flinders University and South Australian Museum Collections – Spinifex Country explores the enduring significance of spinifex to Aboriginal people and their communities while also reflecting ways in which this uniquely Australian grass has taken hold in the imagination of non-Indigenous artists.

The exhibition features the work of Jimmy Baker, Maringka Baker, Angkaliya Curtis, Beryl Jimmy, Elizabeth Nyumi, Ngupulya Pumani, David Miller, Lance Peck, Jenny Sages, Nungalka Stanley, Wingu Tingima, Bernard Tjalkuri, Elsje van Keppel, Roy Underwood, Nyankulya Watson Walyampari, Ilka White, Ginger Wikilyiri and new pieces commissioned for the project by Shirley Macnamara, Sandy Elverd and Tjanpi Desert Weavers.


Comments are closed.