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ANMM Collection Reproduced courtesy of Vic Chapman

Baagii (grandmother)

Date: 2003
Overall: 320 x 180 mm, 1.8 kg, 300 mm
Medium: Slip-cast white earthenware, black underglaze, Duncan clear glaze
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Copyright: © Vic Chapman
Object Name: Ceramic vase
Object No: 00037652
Place Manufactured:Illawarra

User Terms

    This vase reflects the artist's rekindled interest in his Yuwaalaraay language and culture, and particularly the story of his grandmother's interesting fishing techniques! The ceramic vase is decorated with images relating to this story - rod, corks and hooks around the base, the bent stem pipe around the neck, and the body with stylised fish, clods of earth and fish gills.
    SignificanceInspired by a childhood memory this vase is decorated with a story from the artist's country of Yuwaalaraay bordering north-west NSW and south-west QLD.
    HistoryArtist's statement, 'My grandmother was an accomplished fisher woman. Early morning she'd set off with the fishing lines she'd made from green twine, wine bottle corks, rods cut from bamboo growing on the banks of the river and commercial hooks. In the sugar bag slung over her shoulder were line replacements and bait - worms, frogs, grubs, shrimp. Her bent stem pipe was forever part of her make up.

    We kids often accompanied her to one of her favourite fishing holes. When the fish were slow to "bite" she'd pick up handfuls of clods (dry earth) from the river bank to throw into the river where the lines were set. This often invited the comment, "Baagi womba" - "Granny's mad". The old lady always came home with a healthy catch proving how wrong we were.'

    Baagii was Vic's paternal grandmother who spoke traditional language, smoked a bent stem pipe and was an avid fisherwoman. This vase encompasses all the elements of his grandmother's fishing expeditions. As Vic recalls, 'the bent-stem pipe at the top of the vase, the home-made fishing lines at the bottom, the three panels showing the fish and the fish gills, and the clods represented by cross-hatching. The process I used to manufacture the vase involved throwing the form on a pottery wheel, then making a two-piece mould, slip-casting (using white E/W slip), decorating it with Duncan clear glaze over black underglaze, and finally bisque and glaze firings'.
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