A unique look at the strikingly beautiful baskets created by Indigenous Australians over the centuries – baskets that are artworks in their own right as well as functional containers.
‘The baskets are not empty. They are full of makers, their stories, their thoughts while making. The baskets are never empty. All of the thoughts jump out of the baskets on to all of us.’ Verna Nichols.
Indigenous Australian communities were primarily mobile, travelling within their limited clan or group territory from known resource to known resource. Famous for the simplicity and economy of their material possessions, they made beautiful containers – baskets, bags and dishes – in which to carry food and other items.
Drawing on the British Museum’s important collection of Indigenous Australian baskets, this attractive book provides an accessible, concise introduction to the subject, placing the baskets in their cultural, regional and artistic context. It features fifty fine examples, including both historic and contemporary pieces. Some are outstanding for their painted colours and intricate design; others are unique objects, not replicated in any other collection internationally.
The author Lissant Bolton is head of the Oceania section at the British Museum.