Beanie Festival in the Australian Desert Unites Communities


The Alice Springs Beanie Festival is a community based event that began in 1997 with a ‘beanie party’. The festival was organised to sell beanies crocheted by Aboriginal women in remote communities. It has grown into a fun event where Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal artists share their culture and exhibit together. The festival’s aims have always been to develop Aboriginal women’s textiles, promote womens’ culture and the beanie as a regional art form, as well as promote handmade textile arts. The festival includes a series of workshops and is a unique opportunity to spend time with traditional Aboriginal Pitjantjatjara women and share their skill and knowledge as internationally renowned weavers and spinners.


The Alice Springs Beanie Festival Committee invites entries from artists for the exhibition, ‘My Journey’. Express a special moment or a visual reference from a story in your life, in a beanie: the trip of a lifetime, a trek through the bush, the emotional roller coaster of life events, or the friendships made along the way. This year the Festival celebrates journeys.

ENTRIES MUST BE RECEIVED BY 8 JUNE 2007 to Jo Nixon, 7 Gall Street, Alice Springs NT 0870

Beanie Central: Opens midday Friday 29 June 2007 - Monday 2 July

Free Workshops : Learn to crochet your own beanie (wool and hooks on sale).

Demonstrations : Enjoy free demonstrations of traditional Anangu spinning and other Aboriginal textiles.

Beanie Olympics: See the textile experts vie for the title of ‘Fastest Beanie Maker in the Universe’.

World Record Attempts: Fastest Knitting and Crocheting. 4.00pm. Come and try or your hand, or spectate on these hilarious speed events.

Dates : Opening Friday 30 June 2006, 12 midday- 5.00. Saturday 1 July, Sunday 2 July, and Monday 3 July 10- 4.00

Top image: Amanyi (Dora Haggie), wearing a Mukata (beanie), using a traditional Pitjantjatjara spindle to produce thread. The batik in the background is by Nyukana (Daisy Baker).

Second image: Kerry Elsome, After the fire, winner of the 2005 People's Prize,
Alice Springs Beanie Festival. Photograph by Merran Hughes

Third image: Jude Mapleson, A Colourful Bloke, winner of the 2004 People's Prize,
Alice Springs Beanie Festival. The beanie references a cartoon by Michael Leunig. Photograph by Merran Hughes.

::Alice Springs Beanie Festival
::via Whipup

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