A weave of the southern right whale

Kondoli: the Keeper of Fire

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Following direction from the Federal Government and the South Australian Government, the state’s major cultural institutions – South Australian Museum, State Library of South Australia and Art Gallery of South Australia – will temporarily close to the public from 5.00pm 25 March 2020. This action is in the interests of public safety in response to COVID-19.

Kondoli: the Keeper of Fire is a sculpture of a southern right whale woven entirely from freshwater rushes. Kondoli (Whale) was a strong man with the ability to make fire. This magnificent work, which immortalises the story of the Kondoli, measures more than four metres in length. The fins, mouth and eyes are delicately woven using the elegance of open-weaved lace technique. The woven sculpture is a testament to the technique, adaptability and endurance of Ngarrindjeri weaving, which is important in the preservation of cultural practices for posterity.

Artists: Aunty Ellen Trevorrow, Bruce Trevorrow, Jelina Haines, Bessie Rigney, Luke Trevorrow

Access: wheelchair accessible, lifts, accessible toilets

Kondoli: the Keeper of Fire is presented as part of Tarnanthi: Festival of Contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art.


Tarnanthi is presented by the Art Gallery of South Australia in partnership with BHP and with the support of the Government of South Australia.

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