My pelicans at an empty Lake Menindee. A preview of an exhibition 'CONTEMPORARY PIMEVAL' opening at the Broken Hill Regional Gallery Sept. 30th
Ann Evers is a fibre artist who lives in Broken Hill and who has a deep passion and concern for the West Darling Region. Ann makes use of fibres from this arid region as well as found objects to create baskets and vessels of fibre, earth and clay that tell a story about the fragile desert where she lives.
The vessels that she creates endeavor to draw attention to some of the issues that tend to be ‘out of sight and mind’ away from the hub and gravity of the city and east coast.
Her works raise questions about the lives of the original indigenous inhabitants of the rocky hills and river country around Broken Hill. Their descendants now live in more permanent settlements such as Menindee and Wilcannia. Many of their skills such as weaving and much of their story has been lost.
Ann has spent many years exploring the Barrier Ranges near Broken Hill. China fragments and other remnants found around old mining settlements are incorporated into vessels reminding us of the lives of the early women who followed their men into this harsh land to face untold hardships.
Environmental campaigns are often fought around the more visible and heavily populated parts of Australia. Ann attempts to alter this focus by weaving a desert story using the native vegetation of arid Australia. Her vessels contain a sense of the fragility of this environment and its waterways.
Wilcannia is one of my favourite places. I spent two days earlier this week teaching basket weaving to locals and visiting service providers.
Ann collecting lignum for baskets by the Darling River
Last weekend I had the pleasure of teaching an enthusiastic group some of the techniques of the ancient art of basketry. We spent some time examining the masterful work of Virginia Kaiser. A retrospective of her fine art is currently exhibiting at the gallery. Virginia was a dear friend and teacher. She gave me and many others a profound gift through her teaching and encouragement.
As can be seen from the photos below, the workshop resulted in some delightful baskets.
Come along for a relaxing weekend learning some basics of basket weaving. Materials will be provided but bring anything you would like to add to your baskets.
I sell smaller works through the Broken Hill Regional Gallery workshop. I sell them as 'Sleepy Lizard Baskets'. I write their stories on my Sleepy Lizard labels. You can read these stories on my Facebook 'Sleepy Lizard Baskets' page. Most of them are inspired by the history and land out here. Some of my works that are to go out tomorrow can be seen below.
Good news! All 3 pieces sold at the Adelaide Fringe on opening night. Below is a photo of the pit at Purnamoota station after a firing.