12 February 2018
Ghost net art on display at Darwin exhibition

ABOUT 640 tonnes of so-called “ghost nets” are abandoned in oceans worldwide every year. Many of these discarded fishing nets are found and removed from remote beaches and seas by  ALC Rangers on Groote Eylandt, often entangled with dead and alive animals.

Anindilyakwa women have been weaving them into unique baskets using bush dyed and recycled fabric.

Artist Vera Lalara said it was a creative way to use them, while sharing about the environmental issue.

“We stop these nets from becoming landfill or releasing poisonous greenhouse gases when they are burnt,” she said.

Women on Groote Eylandt first started weaving with ghost nets in 2011, when Darwin artist, Aly de Groot, was invited by Ghost Nets Australia to hold weaving workshops at Anindilyakwa Art Centre.

This year de Groot started full time with the centre, working with the artists using traditional knowledge and contemporary fibre art processes to create new designs. 

The centre held a successful exhibition at Aboriginal Bush Traders in Darwin late last year, which featured many ghost net works.

Aboriginal Bush Traders provides avenues for Indigenous people wanting to engage in economic activities in a sustainable way. 

IMAGE: Anindilyakwa baskets on show at an exhibition at Aboriginal Bush Traders. Photo: Aboriginal Bush Traders