The Tjanpi Desert Weavers
Building on the traditions of using natural fibres to create objects for medicinal, ceremonial and daily use, the Tjanpi – or ‘dry grass’ – Weavers are women who come together to visit sacred sites and traditional homelands, hunt and gather food for their families and teach their children about country while collecting grasses to sculpt and weave.
Students will work directly with the accomplished artists to learn new techniques and expand upon their own diverse disciplines in painting, drawing, music, sculpture and spatial practice as well as film and television.
Tiriki Onus, Lecturer in Indigenous Knowledge and Cultural Practices at the Wilin Centre for Indigenous Arts and Cultural Development, says the masterclasses are a precious experience for budding artists.
“Too often there is a false distinction drawn between craft and fine art.
The women from the Tjanpi Desert Weavers are contemporary fine artists, as well as seasoned teachers, performers and cultural ambassadors who not only maintain traditions within their own art form but also innovate upon them. We are incredibly lucky to be facilitating their presentation of masterclasses at the Wilin Centre.”
Today there are over 400 women across 28 communities making baskets and sculptures out of grass. Working with fibre in this way is firmly embedded in Western and Central Desert Indigenous culture.
A visual Impression of what Ranulf Flambard could have looked like.
Ranulf Flambard, chief tax-collector, was imprisoned under King Henry I. He was the Tower of London’s first prisoner and also became its first escapee.
Flambard had made himself unpopular doing King William Rufus’s dirty work, collecting large taxes and becoming very rich.
When William died, his brother Henry I accused the Bishop of extortion and sent him to the White Tower in chains.
Flambard used the cover of the feast of Candlemas to make a bold escape.
He had a rope smuggled to him in a gallon of wine. He invited his guards to join him for a great banquet. When they were completely drunk and snoring soundly, he seized his chance.
The White Tower of London.
He tied the rope to a column which stood in the middle of a window and, holding his Bishop’s staff, he climbed down the rope.
At the foot of the tower, his friends had horses ready and he galloped off to safety.
Boudicca was queen of the Iceni people of Eastern England and led a major uprising against occupying Roman forces.
Boudicca was married to Prasutagus, ruler of the Iceni people of East Anglia.
When the Romans conquered southern England in AD 43, they allowed Prasutagus to continue to rule.
However, when Prasutagus died the Romans decided to rule the Iceni directly and confiscated the property of the leading tribesmen.
They are also said to have stripped and flogged Boudicca and raped her daughters. These actions exacerbated widespread resentment at Roman rule.
In 60 or 61 AD, while the Roman governor Gaius Suetonius Paullinus was leading a campaign in North Wales, the Iceni rebelled. Members of other tribes joined them.
Boudicca’s warriors successfully defeated the Roman Ninth Legion and destroyed the capital of Roman Britain, then at Colchester.
They went on to destroy London and Verulamium (St Albans). Thousands were killed.
Finally, Boudicca was defeated by a Roman army led by Paulinus.
Many Britons were killed and Boudicca is thought to have poisoned herself to avoid capture.
The site of the battle, and of Boudicca’s death, are unknown.