Gallery proud to announce acquisition of new artwork by Aunty Ma


A woven basket by Aunty Marilyne Nicholls is the first work of art by a Dja Dja Wurrung artist to enter the Central Goldfields Art Gallery’s permanent collection.

Central Goldfields Art Gallery Coordinator Helen Kaptein said Aunty Marilyne Nicholls was commissioned to create the artwork for the Gallery and the Central Goldfields Shire community late last year.

“Dja Dja Wurrung are the recognised Traditional Owner Peoples of Djandak (country) in Central Victoria and we are honoured to have this artwork in the collection.

“Aunty Marilyne is an outstanding artist and has spent hours creating this magnificent woven basket for the Gallery and we are proud that the artwork will be on display for the community to see and appreciate when the Gallery re-opens in September this year.”

Central Goldfields Shire Councillor Grace La Vella said she was lucky enough to see the woven basket in person when it was presented to Council as part of the Central Goldfields Shire Australia Day event.

“For this to be the first work of art by a Dja Dja Wurrung artist in our Gallery is significant – thank you Aunty Marilyne for creating this really meaningful and special commissioned artwork that will have pride of place in our Gallery.”

Aunty Marilyne envisaged the basket in the form of a nest. She used tight spiral binding on the base of the basket. The spiral is representative of the Bunjil Creation story and unfolds in the flightpath that Bunjil the spirit eagle flies in the sky.

On the outside of the basket Aunty Marilyne has used open coil weaving skill technique. This style of weaving allows light to come through and the artist has intentionally chosen this technique as a symbolic way of allowing space for pathways and corridors to create change and new possibilities. Around the edge of the basket is a white ochre band and bundles of emu feathers which are traditional elements of a women’s basket.

Aunty Marilyne Nicholls’ work is found in public and private collections including the British Museum in London through to the Koori Heritage Trust in Melbourne. Recently Maryborough District Health Service acquired one of her artworks.

The woven basket will be on display at Central Goldfields Art Gallery when the Gallery is scheduled for reopening in September 2022 after a major redevelopment.

/Public Release. View in full here.