Underwater basket weaving
: contemporary fibre art in northern Australia with an environmental perspective

  • Alyson Megan De Groot

    Student thesis: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) - CDU


    Contemporary basket making practices in Northern Australia are increasingly utilised as an environmental contrivance. I use two avenues of research to explore this. The first approach involves studio-based investigations, involving experimentation with basketry techniques along with man-made materials such as fishing line and nets. The second avenue incorporates theory-based research deploying ecofeminist theory and deep ecology principles that guide, influence and explain my studio-based findings within this exegesis. An emphasis is placed upon how women (predominantly) use basket-making techniques to promote and maintain cultural, as well as environmental, integrity. Although weaving is often used as an ecological metaphor, the physical act of adapting basket-making techniques to recycle detritus can promote an understanding of our impact upon and responsibilities to the natural world.

    The collection of works arising from my practical research create multi-layered narratives and visual metaphors resulting from interdisciplinary creative experimentation using recycled materials and basket-making techniques along with alternative photographic processes. A thorough explanation will be given into developments arising from the creative research, which significantly influenced a change in my style and attitude towards object making. A considerable deviation from producing artworks intended solely for the gallery resulted in my practice shifting towards the making of larger scale bronze public sculptures. Overall, this research highlights how various creative avenues contribute to the ability of art practice to address ecological matters.
    Date of AwardMay 2018
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorSylvia Kleinert (Supervisor) & Birut Zemits (Supervisor)

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