Anna Porter grew up near Warburton and at the Warburton mission. She is one of two wives who were married to the senior custodian of the country at Warakurna; he has since passed away.
Anna has been making baskets since the inception of the basket weaving project, which the Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankuntjatjara Women’s Council commenced in 1995. Her work is characterised by its very fine finish. Anna usually works on smaller, delicate pieces. Anna is also a very accomplished sculptor of woven forms, creating captivating pieces that stand out for the beauty of their form, colour and attention to detail. She has been in many group exhibitions and has work in the Manguri Weaving Collection held at the Araluen Art Centre in Alice Springs.
Tjanpi (meaning ‘dry grass’) evolved from a series of basket weaving workshops held in remote communities in the Western Desert by the Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunyjatjara Women’s Council in 1995. Building on traditions of using fibre for medicinal, ceremonial and daily purposes, women took easily to making coiled baskets. These new-found skills were shared with relations on neighbouring communities and weaving quickly spread. Today over 400 women across 28 communities are making baskets and sculptures out of grass and working with fibre in this way is firmly embedded in Western and Central desert culture. While out collecting desert grasses for their fibre art women visit sacred sites and traditional homelands, hunt and gather food for their families and teach their children about country.
Tjanpi Desert Weavers is Aboriginal owned and is directed by an Aboriginal executive. It is an arts business but also a social enterprise that provides numerous social and cultural benefits and services to weavers and their families. Tjanpi’s philosophy is to keep culture strong, maintain links with country and provide meaningful employment to the keepers and teachers of the desert weaving business.