I first learned how to random weave in 2011, with guidance from tutor Lesley Hall. She has a wealth of knowledge and experience random weaving and creates beautiful randomly woven baskets using the stunning branches of eucalyptus caesia ‘Silver Princess’. The Basketmakers of Victoria organised the workshop which was held in the stable at Wattle Park in Melbourne.
For a few years I made randomly woven vessels that were then useful as sample baskets for teaching students in the workshop setting. More recently, I have been exploring random weaving in a more sculptural way in artworks that have been exhibited in a small number of shows since 2017.
For a show of 25 Basketmakers called Winnow and Distill at Tacit Gallery in Collingwood in March 2022, I made 3 works that explore the intersection between sculpture and basketry. They have been created using the basketry technique of random weaving or “interlacing” and sculptural construction techniques.
In the Art world the terms “void” or “negative space” might be used for such work, and it is tempting to view this language as the legacy of an elite masculine western sculptural tradition. The more feminine language developed in the Craft tradition of basketry, may depict these works as containers or vessels. The substantially longer history of ancient craft practices of basketry, spans across many cultures and are born of grass roots community activity. It could be said that the more accessible and inclusive origins of basketry account for language that more clearly connects the object to the other.
With these works three versions of inner spaciousness are evident. A protected sanctuary in Precious Cargo. Scar tissue of Pierce Seed 4. And viewers are guided into Spiralling In.