The women of remote Western Australian Indigenous communities have travelled to Canberra to bring a National Museum exhibition to life.
The Songlines exhibition, the intriguing tale of the seven sisters, features a dramatic chase across the Australian desert. It's the story at the heart of an exhibition at the National Museum of Australia.
Songlines: Tracking the Seven Sisters is a ground-breaking exhibition, showcasing five indigenous Western and Central Desert songlines, using some 100 painting and photographs, song, dance and multimedia to narrate the story.
As part of the exhibition, visitors are invited to take part in workshops with Indigenous artists in residence, pop-up talks, film screenings and a lecture series, among other events.
On Saturday, members of the public were invited to spend time with Tjanpi Desert Weavers. The weaving group is a social enterprise created to enable women in remote central deserts to earn their own income.
The women were artists-in-residence at the National Museum throughout Thursday and Friday. Visitors to the exhibition were delighted to watch the art in progress.
Canberran Elizabeth Moore said she was enchanted by the Tjanpi weavers and their intricate design work.
"It's exciting to see it in the making," Ms Moore said.
"I first saw the Tjanpi weavers work here in the museum shop and I just love it. I love the rough, use anything, recycle, make anything - it's just really spectacular."
Since first seeing the art in Canberra, Ms Moore has travelled to Alice Springs to visit the gallery of the Tjanpi weavers.
"Every piece is so individual, it has its own character. I find you get a feel for each artist, the way they work and what they bring to the work that's distinctive."
The weavers created seven life-size female figures resembling mermaids that hang in the Songlines exhibition, representing the seven sisters.
Western Australian Tjanpi Desert Weavers field officer Annieka Skinner said Tjanpi had broad appeal.
"Tjanpi appeals to a lot of people because it's really funny and it's really colourful and happy and bright," Ms Skinner said.
"It's really popular all over Australia."
Ms Skinner said without the work, of which many women started through a workshop in 1995, there weren't enough jobs in the rural communities to sustain families.
"That's the beauty of Tjanpi. People create their own employment, they work when and where it suits them. They can have their kids around them, it can be a family business," she said.
Visit the website to view the exhibition program of events: nma.gov.au