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Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art
19th Century Objects gallery See nearby items (accurate to +/- 12 hrs)


Tasmanian Aboriginal people

Moonah, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia born 1936

Kelp water carrier 2002 Description: Water carrying container made of bull kelp, drawn at edges by tea tree sticks, with bush string handles
Place made: Claremont, Tasmania, Australia
Materials & Technique: sculptures, various media, bull kelp, tea-tree sticks, bush string

Dimensions: 11.6 h x 19.8 w x 9.8 d cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 2003
Accession No: NGA 2003.14
  • The making of bull kelp containers or water carriers is a tradition of the Aboriginal people of the Furneaux Islands group off the north east coast of Tasmania (including the main islands of Flinders and Cape Barren) and the west coast of mainland Tasmania.

    Richardson is one of a small group of elder artists in Tasmania today maintaining Tasmanian Aboriginal cultural traditions through visual arts practice.

    The container is fashioned by gathering strips of the fronds into a bulbous cup shape to hold water. The container is shaped with skewers made of tea tree. A carrying handle made of grass spun into bush string completes the form.

    (Developing the Collection: Acquisitions 1997–1999, National Gallery of Australia, 1999)

    Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra