Gunga bathi (pandanus basket)
Pandanus and bush dyes
45cm x 41cm x 20cm
Milingimbi artists choose to create their woven artworks solely using materials harvested from their homelands. This piece is made from gunga (pandanus).
The new shoots of the pandanus palm are plucked from the central crown of the tree. The fine serrated edges are removed by running a fingernail down each side of the frond, which is then split into two and peeled to expose the inner fibre. Using extensive knowledge of local vegetation, these strips are then dyed using colours extracted from the leaves, roots and bark of selected native plants and left to dry in the sun. Following this lengthy process, the artist weaves the prepared fibres into their desired form.
Mandy Batjula is known for her fine stitching and eye for colour combinations. The colours in this have come from many sources. The copper brown colour is extracted from the root of guḻtjiguḻtji – harvested in Milingimbi. The yellows and oranges come from the root of the guninyi tree – harvested from nearby islands. Black is derived from the leaf of a shrub that grows in the dry eucalyptus forest.