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Pokerwork bird, Ernabella SA


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Pokerwork bird, Ernabella SA

Object information

Physical description

Wood sculpture the form of a bird with oblong head twisted to the right, round incised eyes, nose and mouth. The oblong body has a tail curved upwards. The sculpture is unstable on legs and rests on the tail. Longitudinal pyrographic incisions on posterior surface.

Statement of significance

Winifred Hilliard collection no. 2 comprises a wide range of art and craft items including batik fabrics and clothing, pokerwork animals, acrylic paintings and children's drawings.

Ernabella Arts is significant as one of the longest running Aboriginal art centres. Started in 1949, its artists are mainly women although men have been participating at an increasing rate of late. Over the years, many product lines have been attempted with batik being one of the most successful. It was introduced by Winifred Hilliard who was arts co-ordinator at Ernabella between 1954 and 1986. She is fondly remembered there largely due to role of assisting the artists rather than directing them what forms of art and craft to produce. In terms of the history of indigenous art and craft production in Australia both Ernabella Arts and Deaconess Hilliard hold significant postions.

Object information

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