Ilawanti Ken is a senior Pitjantjatjara woman whose fibre work is well known for its flamboyant design, colour and texture, with her consistently producing unique and highly collectible pieces. She uses the nest shape and bird designs to reflect upon community life and values of looking after family and keeping them safe from harm.
Ilawanti has exhibited widely and is represented in major national collections such as the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia with the collaborative work Minyma punu kungkarangkalpa and the Art Gallery of South Australia with Paarpakani. Ilawanti was a finalist in the 2017 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards.
Ilawanti was born in Watarru in remote South Australia and currently resides in Amata. She is a well-respected painter with Tjala Arts and an innovative Tjanpi fibre artist. Ilawanti is also a strong cultural leader and Ngangkari (traditional healer) with NPY Women’s Council’s Ngangkari program.