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Reproduced courtesy of Yvonne Koolmatrie

Bony Bream

Date: 2001
Overall: 180 x 75 x 400 mm, 0.3 kg
Medium: Sedge rushes (Lepidosperma canescens), echidna spines
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Copyright: © Yvonne Koolmatrie
Object Name: Sculpture
Object No: 00032969
Place Manufactured:Ngarrindjeri

User Terms

    This fish sculpture was made by Yvonne Koolmatrie of the Ngarrindjeri tribe, Yvonne has extended traditional basketry techniques to create three-dimensional sculptural forms. Her marine creatures are based on her own ancestral stories and the lore of the Ngarrindjeri. Made in Murgon, Queensland (artist was up there with her partner Duncan who came form up that way).
    SignificanceThis fish sculpture is a significant example of coilwork, a traditional technique used in Aboriginal culture in the southern part of South Australia.
    HistoryYvonne Koolmatrie grew up on the lower Murray River. She learned coil-stitched basketry techniques in 1982 at a workshop led by the senior Ngarrindjeri weaver Dorothy Kartinyeri. Koolmatrie collects sedge grasses from her favourite sites in the sand dunes of the Coorong area of South Australia. She uses the technique - tradtionally used for making functional objects - to create innovative shapes.

    Ngarrindjeri are the descendants of the many clan groups that lived throughout the lower Murray basin. They maintain a vital cultural identity. As in the past, life revolves around the river. It is a symbol of their cultural survival and potential for further cultural revival.

    The Murray-Darling Basin is Australia's largest river system, food bowl and inland water-transport corridor. Its waterways have been contested for generations - from colonial frontier wars to colour bars at local pools, and between farming and the environment itself. Threatened by salination and erosion, infested by carp and algae and depleted by dams and weirs, the rivers of the Murray-Darling Basin now flow wearily.

    Today the descendants of many alienated Indigenous clans, such as the Ngarrindjeri from the Murray riverland and Kamilaroi from the Moree watercourse country, maintain shared histories and knowledge about people, place and the life of the waterways.
    Additional Titles

    Assigned title:

    Primary title: Bony Bream

    Web title: Bony Bream

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