2 m length hand screen 'Tuscany' linen (138 cm wide) This linen is medium weight - 210 gsm. The base cloth is black and it has been printed with two screens, the first is red/brown ochre ink to print a speckled 'rock art' background texture and the top screen of fishing nets is yellow ochre. The fabric is shown hanging in our heat setting oven. The close up is the most accurate for color.
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Fabric designed and hand-printed by our members in our workshop in Gunbalanya in West Arnhem Land, NT. The artist is paid a royalty of $5 for every metre of their design printed.
The design: Walabi (fishing net). In the old days walabi (fishing nets) were used to catch djenj (fish) in the creeks, channels and river mouths of Western Arnhem Land. The mesh of the nets is woven and knotted from ‘bush string’ made from different plants such as mankulurrudj (sand palm), manburnde (banyan) roots or manbudbud (kurrajong) bark. Holding the net in shape is bush cane. This design features small fishing nets that were used to catch little aquatic creatures such as namarddakka (nail fish) and wakih (freshwater shrimp). Old ladies remember as children they would splash the water so the fish would move towards the trap and be scooped out with the net.