Home' Scoop Homes and Art : Insite 24 Autumn 2010 Contents INSITE AUTUMN 89
Janine's intricately woven bush
sculptures are today highly sought after
by galleries, museums and art-lovers
alike. She has pieces in the Kerry Stokes
Collection, the Holmes a Court Collection
and Museum Victoria collections, among
others, and last year won the coveted
Wandijuk Marika 3D Memorial prize
(in the Telstra National Aboriginal &
Torres Strait Islander Art Awards) for
her wonderfully spirited figure Dhalkatj-
Bilby (pictured above).
What makes Janine's sculptures so
captivating is the freedom in her weaves,
the attention she pays to character and form,
and the individual personalities that shine
through. Mother and Baby, for example, is
a beautiful depiction of a mother's love for
her newborn child, capturing the soft, yet
unyielding, maternal bond through simple
silhouettes and detailed twines.
"I like to call a weave a thought I've had,"
she says. "Sometimes I'll just sit there and
think about my grandfather or my mother
and my hands will keep going -- like they
have a mind of their own. en I'll look
down and what I was thinking about has
taken on a real form."
"I like to call a weave
a thought I've had.
Sometimes I'll just sit
there and think about
my grandfather or my
mother and my hands
will keep going -- like
they have a mind of
It was while living in Hawaii, weaving
a basket for the first time with some
locals in a workshop, that Janine
McAullay Bott felt a connection to her
Aboriginal culture like never before.
"Something came over me," she recalls.
"I'd never weaved an object in my life, yet it
felt like I'd been doing it forever. at feeling
went from my heart right through to the tips
of my fingers. I haven't been able to stop since."
During the 15 years that followed,
Janine's weaving style evolved in rare
and remarkable ways, fast gaining her a
reputation among the laid-back folk of
Waikiki. When she returned to Perth in 1999
to look after her ageing mother Rena, a new
side of her art revealed itself.
"I was surrounded by memories when
I came home," she says. "Photos of my
past and my family were all around
me. As I began to think about
stories from my childhood,
the weaves took on a new
life. I started making
native animals and
human figures -- symbols
that were connected to
SCULPTOR UP CLOSE
NATIONAL TREASURES: (right) Janine's
award-winning Dhalkatj-Bilby was lovingly woven from
palm fronds in tribute to her great-grandmother. (below)
Mother and Baby, also made of palm fronds, is characteristic
of Janine's remarkable attention to detail.
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