Our Bush Dyeing Practice

Bernadette Watt Aboriginal Artist

“Dyeing is good fun. It makes the women come together and chat while we dye. They really enjoy doing it.”

- Bernadette Watt
Artist

 

A day at the art centre often begins with a bush trip to collect leaves, roots, berries and firewood. The women sit together, often by the sea or Angurugu River and design each garment, carefully placing leaves to make patterns and markings on the fabric before placing them into the dyepots full of the gathered plant materials. It’s then time for a cuppa and to wait and watch the silk transform into a unique reflection of Anindilyakwa land. As the women’s bush dyeing practice evolves, new plants are experimented with and new dyes are created.

“To me the scarves look like the rocks and all the different layers of the land, the trees and the bush. The spirits live all around in the trees and though the bush and when you are near the caves you can feel them floating. You can see these colours in the paintings in the caves, on the rock walls and when you sit there and look by yourself you can feel all the spirits moving”
Bernadette Watt

First we start putting some patterns with leaves then we wrap it up with strings around some metal
First we start putting some patterns with leaves then we wrap it up with strings around some metal
Then we start boiling it - we wait for a while and have a cuppa
Then we start boiling it - we wait for a while and have a cuppa
Bernadette Watt Aboriginal Artist
Then we take it out and start rinsing it out - this is when we get to see the colour
Then we hang it up on the line for it to dry - sometimes in wet season we dry it inside
Then we hang it up on the line for it to dry - sometimes in wet season we dry it inside
Artists Maicie Lalara, Elsie Bara, Josina Mamarika & Celina Maminyamanja
Artists Maicie Lalara, Elsie Bara, Josina Mamarika & Celina Maminyamanja
Artists Annabell Amagula, Annie Shannon & Macreena Bara
Artists Annabell Amagula, Annie Shannon & Macreena Bara

North Sleepwear Collaboration

In July 2017 we collaborated with NORTH Home to produce a range of 100% silkwear featuring our bush dyed silk.

This collection was launched at the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair and featured in Cool Hunting (NYC), Broadsheet, SundayLife, Accidental Discharge Magazine & Territory Q.

 

"There was a lot of people buying silk from us at the art fair, it was hard work. We were happy and it was exciting to see people wearing our art. We were all wearing our scarves and sarongs too. It's exciting when people buy things from us - they really liked the little tops and short trousers from NORTH. I like them too."
Deserell Lalara

 

 

Image: Elise Derwin
Image: Elise Derwin

Shop Bush Dyed Scarves, Clothing & Homewares

Bush Dyed Satin Silk Scarf (s) - Bush Dyed Textiles - Janet Bara

Bush Dyed Satin Silk Scarf (s)

$80.00

Janet Bara

27cm x 110cm 19-2340
Bush Dyed Satin Silk Scarf (s) - Bush Dyed Textiles - Annabell Amagula

Bush Dyed Satin Silk Scarf (s)

$80.00

Annabell Amagula

27cm x 110cm 19-2261
Bush Dyed Satin Silk Scarf (s) - Bush Dyed Textiles - Shianne Lalara

Bush Dyed Satin Silk Scarf (s)

$80.00

Shianne Lalara

27cm x 110cm 19-2146
Bush Dyed Men's T-Shirt - Bush Dyed Clothing - Nelitta Nunggumajbarr

Bush Dyed Men’s T-Shirt

$60.00

Nelitta Nunggumajbarr

S 18-5327
Bush Dyed Men's T-Shirt - Bush Dyed Clothing - Tammy Lalara

Bush Dyed Men’s T-Shirt

$60.00

Tammy Lalara

S 18-4526
Bush Dyed Men's T-Shirt - Bush Dyed Clothing - Marie Mamarika

Bush Dyed Men’s T-Shirt

$60.00

Marie Mamarika

S 19-1655
Bush Dyed Men's T-Shirt - Bush Dyed Clothing - Briget  Mamarika

Bush Dyed Men’s T-Shirt

$60.00

Briget Mamarika

S 19-1647
Bush Dyed Mens T-Shirt - Bush Dyed Clothing - Tammy Lalara

Bush Dyed Mens T-Shirt

$60.00

Tammy Lalara

18-1508
Bush Dyed Mens T-Shirt - Bush Dyed Clothing - Jedda Mamarika

Bush Dyed Mens T-Shirt

$60.00

Jedda Mamarika

S 18-3521
Bush Dyed Mens T-Shirt - Bush Dyed Clothing - Elsie Bara

Bush Dyed Mens T-Shirt

$60.00

Elsie Bara

S 18-4569
Bush Dyed Mens T-Shirt - Bush Dyed Clothing - Sharna Wurramara

Bush Dyed Mens T-Shirt

$60.00

Sharna Wurramara

S 18-593
Bush Dyed Satin Silk Scarf (s) - Bush Dyed Textiles - Tammy Lalara

Bush Dyed Satin Silk Scarf (s)

$80.00

Tammy Lalara

27cm x 110cm 19-2245