Helen Ganalmirriwuy: Gunga Mät
- Medium:Pandanus Leaves and Natural Dyes
- Size:72 x 72 cm (with fringes 140 x 140 cm)
- Region:Arnhem Land (West)
- Art Centre:Milingimbi Art
Yolŋu have been using local plant fibres to weave everyday functional objects that serve their daily needs since precolonisation. This includes ngainmara (conical mat), dhomala (canoe sail) and get (skirt). Today the techniques used to create ngainmara, dhomala and get are applied to mät's (contemporary art objects).
Since the 1930's Yolŋu have adapted the conical shape of the ngainmara to make flat woven artworks that are appreciated for their high craftsmanship and aesthetic qualities. Ngainmara were worn by Yolŋu miyalks (women of east Arnhem Land) as skirts as well as to swaddle, cover and protect yothu (babies) while sleeping. When folded in half the ngainmara becomes a surface for yothu to rest on their stomach and play with the fringes. A ngainmara girls sit under during womens coming of age ceremony.
Mät's made today feature an artists individual style and miny'tji (colours and design). Ganalmirriwuy’s weaving's are celebrated for her meticulous technique and restrained use of colour and pattern. The singular use of Mol (black) is reserved for her and her sister, Margaret Rarru however Ganalmirriwuy is also known for her mät's of glowing orange as well as combinations of earthy hues.
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