18 August – 24 November 2018

‘A landscape of spinifex rings’ is how this acclaimed senior Indigenous artist from north-west Queensland describes the suspended woven work that forms the centrepiece of her exhibition. Working with Triodia (spinifex), a native grass common to this arid landscape, Shirley Macnamara’s contemporary fibre art stands for generations of traditional knowledge, the resilience of her people, and the need to care for Country. In works comprising spinifex, emu feathers, bone and ochre, the artist draws attention to the environment and the histories concerning her people, including Aboriginal military service. Macnamara’s woven vessel, Nyurruga Muulawaddi, which won the Wandjuk Marika Memorial 3D Award at the 34th Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards in 2017, is a highlight of the exhibition. 

Curator: Michele Helmrich

During the exhibition, the artist will undertake a residency at the UQ Art Museum, generously supported by the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund. 

  • Read Media Release here
  • Download images for news and review here 

Friday 17 August, 6.15 for 6.30 pm

to be opened by
Diane Moon
Curator, Indigenous Fibre Art
Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art

The University of Queensland Art Museum acknowledges the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund for supporting this project.


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Shirley Macnamara
Wirtpi 2015
spinifex and emu feathers
overall 7 x 22 x 22 cm
Collection of the University of Queensland, purchased 2017.
Reproduced courtesy of the artist and Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne. 
Photo: Carl Warner