Wawiriya Burton


2473-14 Basket

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

29cm diameter x 12cm high

Out of stock

Artist Biography

Wawiriya Burton has been weaving since the early days of Tjanpi. She has recently produced many works of great vibrancy and harmonious form. Wawiriya is a Ngangkari (traditional healer) and maintains strong traditional cultural ties. Wawiriya is a talented artist who has been weaving for Tjanpi, painting for Tjala arts and carving punu (wood) for Maraku. She is a well-rounded and accomplished artist and senior woman. Tjanpi (meaning ‘dry grass’) evolved from a series of basket weaving workshops held on 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 governed by Aboriginal directors. 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.