Ernabella Artists Hit the Tiles

February 8, 2018

Hayley Baillie and the team at Longitude 131° worked with artists from several outback Indigenous communities to commission incredible works for the lodge’s 2017 refurbishment.

Vibrant ceramics and artworks from nearby Indigenous communities feature throughout the property, rich in colour and textures and offering a cultural connection with the land’s Traditional Owners.

Works were commissioned from art centres and communities across the outback, including from the Ernabella Arts Indigenous Community and Tjala Arts Centre at Amata Indigenous Community in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands, the Maruku Arts Centre at Uluru and the Tjanpi Desert Weavers in Alice Springs.

One of the most subtle and yet standout pieces is the tiled wall in the Dune House’s new bar and lounge area.

Some 500 individually hand-painted tiles line the bar wall, each created by a group of nineteen women artists from Ernabella Arts Community and featuring desert spinifex designs.

Ernabella Arts Hannah Kothe reported on the project’s progress along the way:

We have begun production on the tiles. We have made more than a hundred so far but they are yet to be fired. There will be fired later this week and should be finished by the weekend. They are looking great so far! We are really pleased with how it’s going. More clay arrives this Wednesday and production will really ramp up then. 

We have about ten artists (all women under 40) working on them so far. We have taken some images and will continue as we keep going and we might also make a fun time-lapse video of all the women lined up working on them.

 It is a really lovely project having the women working together, some new young artists are getting involved. Marceena (the artist behind the main tjanpi design) is really proud. She is only about 19! Her mother and grandfather are also artists here.

Guests at Longitude 131° can see the organic-style tiles at any time of day when fixing a cool drink or snack in the Dune House Bar.