We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.


Mol mindirr (black conical basket)



Alternate image of Mol mindirr (black conical basket) by Helen Ganalmirriwuy Garrawurra
Alternate image of Mol mindirr (black conical basket) by Helen Ganalmirriwuy Garrawurra
  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    Milingimbi Central Arnhem Land Northern Territory Australia
    Media category
    Materials used
    natural dyes on pandanus
    29.5 x 14.0 x 14.0 cm
    Purchased with funds provided by the Aboriginal Art Collection Benefactors 2021
    Naala Badu, ground level, Yiribana Gallery
    Accession number
    © Helen Ganalmirriwuy/Copyright Agency

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Helen Ganalmirriwuy Garrawurra

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Helen Ganalmirriwuy Garrawurra is a senior artist working through Milingimbi Art and Culture. She is most well known for her weavings but she also creates paintings that draw on her Liyagalawumirr inheritance. In 'Mol mindirr (black conical basket)' 2020 Ganalmirriwuy uses the secret recipe developed by her sister Margaret Rarru Garrawurra to dye her pandanus jet black before weaving it into an elegant conical form.
    The Milingimbi Art and Culture certificate for this work states: Ganalmirriwuy understands the power of colour. Her work can be distinguished by the striking use of blacks, oranges, reds and other earthy hues. Her monochrome pieces exemplify her mastery of colour and natural dye process as well as precise weaving technique. Ganalmirriwuy makes her colours from roots, leaves and barks harvested from the Crocodile Islands and her mother's homeland of Laŋarra (Howard Island) in the Northern Territory.
    Up until the late 20th century fibre objects where made by both men and women. Fibre objects including mindirr (conical bags) and bamugora (conical mats) were decorated by applying natural pigments to the surface of fibre objects. The development of dying fibres by submerging them in gapu (water) with local plants was introduced by missionaries and has been widely practiced in Yurrwi/Milingimbi since the 1940s. Each weavers palette is informed by the natural dying material (leaves and roots) that are particular to their Country.
    In the 1990s Rarru perfected the recipe for the many hues of black that she and her sister Ganalmirriwuy are renowned for. When asked for the recipe Rarru and her sisters reply 'maybe one day you will sit with us and you will learn'. It is accepted amongst Yolŋu weavers that the singular use of black is reserved for Rarru and those to whom she gives permission.

  • Places

    Where the work was made


  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition

Other works by Helen Ganalmirriwuy Garrawurra

See all 13 works