Jennifer Kemarre Martiniello, Bush Flowers & Seedpods Bicornual #1
A graduate of the ANU School of Art & Design, Jenni Kemarre Martiniello is a prolific artist and writer who has relatively recently taken up glass as a medium. Bush Flowers & Seedpods Bicornual #1 is a work inspired by the unique and beautiful forms and colours of native blossoms and seedpods distinct to Australian flora – in particular those of Jenni’s grandmother’s country in Central Australia and from places she herself has lived. Created with murrine made by recycling complex triple and double glass canes – sometimes recombined and pulled multiple times – this work pays tribute to the traditional bicornual form of woven baskets used by women to collect medicine plants in far North Queensland, and the larger men’s bicornuals used in Southern Australia to carry large curved hunting weapons.
As an Aboriginal (Arrernte) artist I seek to invoke the organic ‘weaves’ and forms of traditional woven objects such as eel traps, fish traps and dillibags in my hot blown glass works, and pay tribute to the survival of the oldest living weaving practices in the world. My intention is to appropriate the contemporary medium of glass to become a vehicle for cultural expression.
Jenni’s introduction to glass came during a group residency at the Canberra Glassworks in 2008. The residency program IndigiGlass08: Postcards from the Referendum was created to mark the 40th anniversary of the 1967 Referendum on Aboriginal rights. Jenni was one of four artists involved who had been working together as part of the Indigenous Textile Artists Group. Following her move into glass work Martiniello was a finalist in the 2011 Ranamok Glass Prize with her Eel Traps series. Her works are now held in significant public and private collections.