The Round Up – Mukulubena Baskets @ Aboriginal Bush Traders

Missed our exhibition Mukulubena at bush traders in November? No worries, here's a roundup of our favourite photos and the full story!

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Approximately 640 tonnes of discarded fishing equipment, known as 'ghost gear ', is abandoned in our oceans worldwide every year.  Large amounts of these nets are found and removed from the remote beaches and seas by local rangers on Groote Eylandt in the Gulf of Carpenteria, often with entrapped and endangered animals found within them, dead and alive.  Anindilyakwa women have been preventing these nets from becoming landfill or releasing poisonous greenhouse gases when they are burnt. They weave them into unique baskets using bush dyed and recycled fabric, to utilise this environmental threat in a creative way, as well share the story of this ecological issue. 

Women on Groote Eylandt first started weaving with ghost net in 2011, when Darwin artist, Aly de Groot, was invited by Ghost Nets Australia to facilitate ghost net weaving workshops at Anindilyakwa Art Centre.  This year de Groot started full time employment with Anindilyakwa Arts, working with the artists using traditional knowledge and contemporary fibre art processes to create new ideas and designs. 

Vera Lalara is an exceptional artist and weaver whose baskets will feature in this exhibition. She stays up late into the night, whilst her children sleep, weaving baskets where she lives on the remote 4 Mile Outstation.

 'Old People came to Angurugu School when I was young to teach us weaving. We go collecting Pandanus and string and dying with plants to make colours.  I love making baskets both ways, the traditional ways that the old ladies teach me and these new ways with the ghost nets and bush dyed fabric. It’s important, to keep my culture going, for the future.”

This exhibition, hosted by Aboriginal Bush Traders, is the first time baskets made using ghost nets and bush dyed fabrics from Groote Eylandt will be shared with Darwin audiences and visitors to the Darwin region. 

We'd like to say a big thank you to Liz & the team at Bush Traders for such a special exhibition and their ongoing support of art centres across the region! If you're in Darwin - pop in and check them out!

Image credits: Liz Martin from Aboriginal Bush Traders