Tjanpi Desert Weavers
Painted gumnuts on elastic. Length is 28cm.
Doreen Driffen is an artist from the Watarrka (Kings Canyon) region in the Northern Territory. She predominantly creates hand-painted seed jewellery.
To make these pieces, first Doreen goes out into the bush to collect the seeds from the trees native to the area around her home community - usually either gumnuts from the eucalyptus tree, ininti seeds from the bat wing coral tree, or quandong nuts. Next she makes a hole in each seed using wire that has been heated in the fire, then places each bead on a stick in the sand, and paints each with with up to six different colours, waiting patiently for each colour to dry before moving onto the next. The final step is threading it on to elastic. The whole process takes many hours.
With no formal training in either jewellery-making or design, Doreen is a gifted artist with a real eye for colour and a creative understanding of pattern-making. Each piece she makes is a work of wearable art.