Tjanpi Desert Weavers is our social enterprise, enabling Anangu women to earn their own income from fibre art.
At its core, Tjanpi embodies the energies and rhythms of Country and culture. It supports communities, families and individuals to thrive.
Tjanpi represents over 400 Aboriginal artists from 26 remote communities on the NPY Lands. Our Tjanpi field officers travel to communities and buy artwork, generating local income. We also supply art materials and facilitate skills development workshops.
For our local artists, there is a strong cultural connection through Tjanpi. Women come together to collect grass for their art. They also hunt, gather food, visit significant sites, perform inma (cultural song and dance), and teach children about Country.
The shared stories, skills, and experiences reflect the wide-reaching network of mothers, daughters, aunties, sisters, and grandmothers that are Tjanpi. They form the bloodline of the desert weaving phenomenon.
In 2005, a group of Tjanpi artists won the major prize in the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards for a giant woven sculpture of a Toyota 4WD. Learn more.
In 2017 Tjanpi works were a major feature of a hugely successful exhibition at the National Museum of Australia. Learn more.
A collaborative work between Tjanpi Desert Weavers and artist Fiona Hall was exhibited as part of the Venice Biennale (2015). Learn more.
Tjanpi artwork is a platform for sharing Tjukurpa (ancestral story, law) but equally, it responds to current issues and concerns. Learn more.
Tjanpi (meaning wild harvested grass) began in 1995 as a series of basket-making workshops facilitated by NPY Women’s Council on the Ngaanyatjarra Lands of WA.
Women wanted meaningful and culturally appropriate employment on their homelands to better provide for their families.
Building upon a long history of using natural fibres to make objects for ceremonial and daily use, women took quickly to coiled basketry and were soon sharing their new found skills with relatives and friends on neighbouring communities.
It was not long before they began experimenting with producing sculptural forms.
Go to tjanpi.com.au for more information, and to see the full range of Tjanpi artworks and merchandise.