Freda Imuna Lane


3910-18 Basket

Tjanpi (wild harvested grass) with natural, pink, and orange raffia

W20cm x H15cm

Out of stock

Artist Biography

Freda is a Ngaanyatjarra woman and was born in the bush in 1955 at Wiltjur rockhole or Arrkarrka, halfway between Blackstone and Irryuntju. This is a mens sacred site so nothing more can be said about it. “My sister rescued me from a rabbit hole after my mother buried me in that “pirti”. After that my father growled at her and she took me back. We used to walk around between Irryuntju and Blackstone, Lynden Bore, Walu, Marrpapuka and Ilurrpa. I had two mothers (father had two wives, one was Jean Lanes mother). My birth mother came from Watajara, Manta Palyka.” As a baby I slept in a pirti in warm sand with rabbit sticks on edge to keep the rabbit in place and my mother would put another pirti on top and carry me on her head with a big manguri. Freda’s father’s country was Blackstone and her mother’s country was the blue hills the other side of Irryuntju, at a place called Punti Punti near Waltajara. Freda’s mother was Pitjantjatjara but she learned her fathers language. Freda went to school at Warburton mission and very happily stayed in the mission home during some of her childhood years. During the holidays her parents would take Freda walking all around their traditional homeland areas. “We used to camp for a long time at old Blackstone (Warutjarra) which was just a windmill and someone (Mr Tutingu) would bring stores over and we would trade dingo skins for them. “ It was during these early years whilst travelling around that Freda learned numerous skills and traditions from her parents. Freda’s husband came from near Wirnpuly, south of Jameson. “ I was given to him as second wife and Elaine Wanatjura Lane was the first. We stayed living in Warburton and I had 4 children, Oliver, Rose, Sarah and Emma (dec.). We left Warburton and camped at early Jameson and left there after a losing a child and went to Blackstone, Warutjarra (old Blackstone). I now have eight grandchildren and spend a lot of time looking after them.” Freda first worked as a health worker alongside Thelma McLean in Jameson and was trained in Darwin on how to administer medicine and give injections. Freda soon became a little frightened of this work so stole Elaine’s husband and moved to Blackstone. Later she also worked in Warburton doing office work and more health work She had three children, Oliver, Rosie, Sarah and eight grandchildren Brendan, Maria, Selina, Joshua, Thisbe, Elroy, Kyle and Seth. “ I started making baskets in 1995 after Thisbe showed us how at the bush workshop and Mrs Benson helped me also. I like to make basket mainly but sometimes make an animal or person. I have made some flat pieces too but I like baskets best.” Freda was an important contributer to the making of the Big Basket in 2000 and the Telstra Award Winning Tjanpi Toyota in 2005. In addition to being a very consistent weaver, Freda does a lot of work for her community and is involved in number of organisations and committees such as being a long term executive member of NPY Women’s Council and has been working with Native Title Unit of the Ngaamyatjarra Council, the Maraku Executive and the Papulankutja Artists Executive She has also made wooden artifacts or “punu” for many years and now occasionally does a bit of painting.