In December, the Trustees of the Australian Museum Foundation committed $44,000 to commission a series of weavings from artists on the remote Darnley Island in Torres Strait.

Abandoned fishing nets, often called ‘ghost nets’, are a huge environmental problem in the area, killing fish, birds, dolphins, sharks and turtles. A group of local artists from the island have turned these deadly materials into beautiful works of art.

The Trustees of the Foundation recognised the value of this project as enriching the Australian Museum’s collection of contemporary Indigenous artworks with objects that are not only aesthetically beautiful but also represent a strong connection to and understanding of nature.

The Torres Strait Ghost Net Art Acquisition raises awareness of environmental issues and also assists in protecting our precious fauna from these hazards.

The grant, funded by a bequest from Patricia M Porritt will cover the travel, freight and insurance costs associated with the acquisition, as well as the artist copyright and license fees.

The project will be documented by a locally based filmmaker to capture the creation of and stories behind these works of art. You can follow the story here on our blog.

The next meeting of the Foundation will be in March 2013, and we are very excited to see what other fascinating projects will be submitted.