Tinka (Goanna) by Martha Protty


Tinka (Goanna) by Martha Protty


Martha Protty

Kaltukatjara (Docker River) Community

L80cm x W20cm x H28cm

Tjanpi (dry grass), wool, raffia

©Martha Protty, Tjanpi Desert Weavers, NPY Women’s Council

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Martha Protty is a senior woman from Docker River. She has been a Tjanpi weaver for a long time and consistently produces endearing, lively and innovative work. Along with her sister, Nyinku Kulitja, Martha is a formidble bush woman with exceptional knowledge of country and culture. She is a highly respected elder and has many children and grand-children. Martha stands proudly beside her sister, Nyinku Kulitja, on the cover of the Tjanpi Desert Weavers book (Penny Watson, 2012) and together are the face of the Tjanpi brochure in 2017.

Tjanpi Desert Weavers, a signatory  to the Indigenous Art Code, is a dynamic social enterprise of the NPY Women's Council, Tjanpi (meaning 'dry grass') supports Aboriginal women living in remote Central and Western desert communities to create contemporary fibre art. When collecting desert grasses (minarri, wangumu and yirlintji), women visit sacred sites and traditional homelands, hunt and gather food for their families and tech children about country. Grass is bound with wool, string or raffia and sometimes combined combined with yinirnti (red seeds of the bat-wing coral tree) and wipiya (emu feathers).

Tjanpi Desert Weavers confirms the accuracy of the details set out on the accompanying Code Certificate.

Text by Andrea Mason, CEO, NPY Women's Council.

Tjanpi represents more than 400 Aboriginal women artists from 26 remote communities on the NPY lands. The NPY lands cover approximately 350,000 square kms across the tri-state (WA, SA, NT) border region of Central Australia. Tjanpi field officers regularly travel to these communities and purchase artworks from the artists, supply art materials, hold skills development workshops and facilitate grass collecting trips. These trips also allow a number of other cultural maintenance activities to take place.

Tjanpi also runs public weaving workshops, a public gallery in Alice Springs, it regularly exhibits work in national galleries right through to facilitating commissions for public institutions and collectors.