Tailem Bend, South Australia born 1955
1999 sedge grass Ngarrindjeri coiled basketry
21.0 h x 30.0 w x 62.0 d cm
Accession No: NGA 99.88
Aunty Ellen describes herself as a ‘cultural weaver’ making the baskets, mats and fish scoops that the old people used for gathering food and for protection. ‘Everything made by the old people served a purpose and it is an honour for me to be doing it today’.They were tools of survival in the past, now they are tools for the survival of the culture. Although she may occasionally use some of the baskets, primarily her work functions as a symbol of her culture and of herself as a representative of that culture.
(Michele Gollan in Keeping Culture: Aboriginal art to Keeping Places and Cultural Centres, 2000, p. 5)
Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra