Marlene Brumby Australian, Pitjantjatjara, b. Unknown
Marlene lives in Indulkana in APY Lands. Her parents passed away when she was young, and sadly she does not know their country, but she does know that her mother made baskets. Marlene is an accomplished tjanpi weaver, making curious birds and animals and more recently and abundance of instantly recognisable baskets - exposed tjanpi with stripes of colour. Marlene feels proud to be able to sell her tjanpi to support her family, her grandson and grandaughter. 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.