There is a wonderful post on friend Pam's blog about an exhibition she saw at the Adelaide Art Gallery in South Australia. This exhibition is work of the Yarrenyty Arltere women. I was so taken by their work this sent me looking for their web and facebook pages so that I could learn more.
These women come from Alice Springs so they are desert people. There are lots of wonderful artists out there but this is the first time I have seen indigenous women stitching. They not only stitch but they use old blankets that they dye with natural dyes first as their base cloth.
Having lived in Arnhem Land I really appreciate the humour that is distinctly theirs and I can imagine those women stitching and laughing at their own work. I love the thoughts of this artist who has given her pieces two heads because she has two thoughts in her head at the same time, should she stitch but she would like to go into town as well! I felt exactly the same hanging out the washing and thinking I should be hosing the garden and was pulled between the two.
The other thing that struck me was how much they like stitching for exactly the same reasons we like stitching but they are far more insightful about their experience. Marlee Rubuntja says:
In 2009 I came to the art centre, I thought , I'll try this. And now I come everyday. Then I got strong for this art centre, I love this art. In 2009 I didn't see properly what was happening, how this art was getting me strong. In my head and heart I grew all these ideas and I started feeling well again. Now I feel like a strong woman, I like talking for this place, this art because I want others to be encouraged to get strong also. When we first started sewing we were in kindergarten, then we started focusing properly and moving to primary school, then high school then university- and now I'm waiting to be a professor of sewing! Look out world, I might sew Parliament House!!
Thinking about the week 1 TAST challenge this section of stitching using just running stitch an old dyed wool blanket and wool yarn, that looks like it comes from Lindcraft or Spotlight, is inspirational.