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Yvonne Koolmatrie | Hot-air balloon 2006 | Coil-woven sedge grass and river rushes | 194 x 90cm (diam.) | Purchased 2006 with funds from Cathryn Mittelheuser, AM, through the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation | Collection: Queensland Art Gallery

Yvonne Koolmatrie ‘Hot-air balloon’ 2006

After participating in a workshop in the early 1980s, Yvonne Koolmatrie was introduced to the techniques and traditional methods of working with sedge rushes (Cyperus gymnocaulos). The traditional coiled basketry technique was refined by the Ngarrindjeri people of the Murray River region. It uses bound bunches of local sedge rushes to form the foundation of the object, which is then formed in a continuous spiral. Koolmatrie’s work transcends the functional basis of the technique and explores the sculptural potential of the medium while remaining connected to ancient traditions. Koolmatrie created Hot-air balloon 2006 after seeing an international ballooning competition in Mildura, in rural New South Wales. The basket is embellished with variations on the coil-weave stitch and attached to the balloon with plied grass string. Koolmatrie is known for innovative works such as Biplane 2006, as well as for classic eel and yabbie traps and animal forms.

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