Tjanpi Desert Weavers - Art Collector

Roma Butler, Mingkiri Kutjarra (two mice) from Wingellina WA, 2014. Photo: Jessica Stewart. Courtesy: Tjanpi Desert Weavers, NPY Womens Council, WA

Tjanpi Desert Weavers is a not-for-profit social enterprise of the Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Women’s Council (NPYWC), an Aboriginal governed and directed Corporation. NPYWC members created Tjanpi in 1995 to enable women of the NPY Lands to earn a regular income from selling their fibre art.

Tjanpi, which means dry grass in Ngaanyatjarra/Pitjantjatjara, supports more than 400 Aboriginal women artists from 28 remote communities on the NPY lands, in the cross-border region of Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory.

The main languages of the group are Ngaanyatjarra, Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara.

Tjanpi is not only renowned for its vibrant baskets, but also for its unique array of innovative sculptures, which artists create using natural fibres collected from the country along with wool, raffia and string. The stunning artworks created showcase Tjanpi artists’ mastery of colour, texture and form and reflect contemporary and traditional community life and culture.

NPY Women’s Council provides resources, advocacy and support for Aboriginal women living in remote communities across the Western and Central deserts.

Tjanpi regularly holds workshops in communities with its artists, where women come together to share skills and ideas, experiment with new techniques and work towards special projects. Additionally, Tjanpi periodically hosts public weaving workshops which are extremely popular with visitors.

At its core, Tjanpi is about family and walytja (
community). The Tjanpi walytja is a wide-reaching network of mothers, daughters, aunties, sisters and grandmothers whose shared stories, skills and experiences are the bloodline of the weaving phenomenon that has swept the Western and Central Deserts over the past two decades. Tjanpi Desert Weavers' purpose is to contribute to improving the lives of NPY women and their families by supporting cultural activity and employment through the creation of fibre art.

Access information

The Tjanpi Desert Weavers gallery is open Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm and is closed throughout January.

Commercial gallery partners

  • Michael Reid Gallery, Sydney
  • Nomad Art Gallery, Darwin

Online shop

Viewing and purchasing is available on the website.

Tjanpi Desert Weavers
3 Wilkinson Street
Alice Springs NT 0870

08 8958 2377
08 8958 2378