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Yvonne KOOLMATRIE

Ngarrindjeri people

Wudinna, South Australia, Australia born 1944

Bi-plane 1994 Place made: Berri, South Australia, Australia
Materials & Technique: sculptures, fibrework, woven sedge grass Ngarrindjeri coiled basketry

Dimensions: 50.0 h x 113.0 w x 135.0 d cm ; weight 74 kg
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1995
Accession No: NGA 95.309
  • With her inventive and whimsical sculptural forms in fibre, Yvonne Koolmatrie has almost single-handedly rewritten the language of weaving and broadened its aesthetic possibilities. Learning customary weaving techniques from Ngarrindjeri elder Dorothy Kartinyeri in the early 1980s, Koolmatrie initially created faithful renditions of functional cultural objects such as eel traps, burial mats and food-collecting vessels. To extend her repertoire and draw inspiration, Koolmatrie visited museums with collections of Ngarrindjeri material. In the South Australian Museum, she discovered a coiled-weave monoplane and bi-plane made by Janet Watson in 1942. Excited by the sculptural potential of woven sedge grass, Koolmatrie freed her imagination and breathed life into fantastical woven articulations that are now her trademark.

    Three years before she represented Australia at the Venice Biennale,[1] Koolmatrie produced her own singular version of a bi-plane with its distinct set of wings. Finely calibrating the angularity, proportions and volume of the sculpture, Koolmatrie demonstrates her complete understanding of the medium. Similarly, her unwavering commitment to honour the spirit of the Ngarrindjeri is echoed in every coiled stitch.

    Koolmatrie’s experimental and exploratory works in local grasses awakened an interest in a vanishing cultural practice, and as a teacher and practitioner she has played a pivotal role in the revitalisation of weaving. While her fibre sculptures are a radical departure from historic basketry, they are nonetheless imbued with the fragrances, materiality and cultural reminiscences of the fertile waterways of the lower River Murray, and she will always be connected to the places where the spiny sedge is gathered.

    Stephen Gilchrist

    [1] With Emily Kam Kngwarray and Judy Watson.


    Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2010
    From: Franchesca Cubillo and Wally Caruana (eds) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art: collection highlights National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2010

  • With her inventive and whimsical sculptural forms in fibre, Yvonne Koolmatrie has almost single-handedly rewritten the language of weaving and broadened its aesthetic possibilities. Learning customary weaving techniques in the early 1980s from Ngarrindjeri elder Dorothy Kartinyeri, Koolmatrie initially created faithful renditions of functional cultural objects, such as eel traps, burial mats and food-collecting vessels. To extend her repertoire and draw inspiration, she visited museums with collections of Ngarrindjeri material. In the South Australian Museum she discovered a coiled-weave monoplane and a bi-plane made by Janet Watson in 1942. Excited by the sculptural potential of woven sedge grass, Koolmatrie freed her imagination and breathed life into fantastical woven articulations that are now her trademark. Three years before she represented Australia at the 47th Venice Biennale in 1997, Koolmatrie produced her own singular version of a bi-plane with its distinct set of wings. Finely calibrating the angularity, proportions and volume of the sculpture, Koolmatrie demonstrates her understanding of the medium. Similarly, her commitment to honour the spirit of the Ngarrindjeri is echoed in every coiled stitch.

    Koolmatrie’s experimental and exploratory works in local grasses awakened an interest in a vanishing cultural practice and, as a teacher and practitioner, she has played a pivotal role in the revitalisation of weaving. While her fibre sculptures are a radical departure from historic basketry, they are nonetheless imbued with the fragrances, materiality and cultural reminiscences of the fertile waterways of the lower River Murray; and she will always be connected to the places where the spiny sedge is gathered.


    Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2014
    From: Collection highlights: National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2014

  • 伊芳·库尔马特瑞 (Yvonne KOOLMATRIE)
    澳大利亚南澳州贝瑞
    《双翼飞机》(Bi-plane)
    1994年
    莎草编织品;拿林杰里(Ngarrindjeri)盘绕编织品
    50.0(高) x 113.0(宽) x 135.0(深) 厘米
    1995年购买
    收录号:NGA 95.309

    伊芳·库尔马特瑞用纤维塑造别具匠心、古灵精怪的雕塑形象,几乎凭一己之力改写了编织语言,拓展其审美可能性。1980年代初,库尔马特瑞师从拿林杰里(Ngarrindjeri)老人桃乐茜·卡廷叶瑞(Dorothy Kartinyeri),学习传统编织工艺,起初,她忠实再创功能性文化物件,如捕鳗器、葬礼垫和食物收集容器。为了扩展拿手绝活并吸取灵感,库尔马特瑞参观收藏有拿林杰里物件的博物馆。参观南澳州博物馆时,她发现了珍妮特·沃森(Janet Watson)于1942年盘绕编织品制作的单翼飞机和双翼飞机。莎草编织品的雕塑潜力令库尔马特瑞兴奋不已,她放飞自己的想象,为凭空臆造的编织物件注入生命,现已成为她的拿手绝活。

    代表澳大利亚参加威尼斯双年展前三年[1],库尔马特瑞制作了自己独特版本的双翼飞机,机翼与众不同。倾斜度、比例和雕塑体积校正精准,说明库尔马特瑞对材质的完全理解。同样的,每一个盘绕缝都反应了她对拿林杰里神灵的尊重,毫不动摇。

    库尔马特瑞在艺术创作中对本地草的实验与探索让人们重新燃起对日渐消失文化习俗的兴趣,作为教师和从业者,她在编织技艺复兴活动中的作用至关重要。尽管她的纤维雕塑与历史性的编织技艺相去甚远,却充满芬芳、物质性和墨累河下游富饶水道的文化记忆,她永远不会失去与这些多刺莎草的产地的联系。

    Stephen Gilchrist
    斯蒂芬·吉尔克莱斯特

    [1]与埃米莉·金·康瓦雷、朱迪·沃森。


    Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra