Tonya Grant

Jirrbal Traditional Owner
Weaver and Painter

Tonya Grant is a Jirrbal woman of the Davidson Falls area, north of Cardwell.

Tonya is an expert weaver of the Jawun, which is the traditional bicornual basket woven with lawyer cane and unique to the rainforest people. Tonya’s mother, Desley Henry was a well known and respected Jawun weaver whose baskets are in permanent museum, gallery and private collections throughout Australia and Internationally. Before Tonya’s mother died, she passed on her traditional techniques and skills to her daughters and grandchildren. Tonya is now creating her own Jawun, of differing size for different purposes.

Tonya is also a painter and draws on traditional colours, patterns and design for her inspiration, in particular drawing on the cyclone motif associated with her naming place. Her work is held in a number of private and institutional collections including the Art Gallery of South Australia, Queensland Art Gallery, the Cairns Regional Gallery, Parliament House Art Collection, Canberra.

Tonya’s work has also been used to promote the Echo Creek Cultural Centre where she works as a tour guide, demonstrator and tutor of cultural practices.

2011 Jawus, Merenda Gallery, Fremantle WA
2011 QR Tilt Train, Art + place, Launched Cairns September
2011 Tully Agricultural show, traditional aboriginal art, 2nd prize
2011 Spinifex Country and Beyond, Gatakers Art Space Exhibition, Melbourne
2010 Pay Attention, City Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand
2010 Tonya Grant Jinabuday, Girringun Aboriginal Art Centre, Cardwell
2010 Cairns Indigenous Art Fair,Tanks Art Centre, Cairns
2010 Intertwined: Indigenous Fibre Art from North Qld. Cairns Regional Gallery
2010 Girringun at Canopy, Canopy Art Space, Cairns
2009 Floating Life, Contemporary Aboriginal Fibre Art Queensland Art Gallery
2009-10 Bravura: 21st Century Aboriginal Craft & Design Art Gallery of South Australia
2009-10 Mundi – Together,Girringun Aboriginal Art Centre Cardwell
2009 Three hundred and thirty, GallerySmith, Melbourne
2009 Cairns Indigenous Art Fair, Tanks Art Centre Cairns
2009 Girringun, Gallery Smith, Melbourne
2009 Jettison Wove, Museums & Gallery Services Travelling Exhibition
2009 Murray Upper & Beyond,Girringun Aboriginal Art Centre
2008-9 Blak Roots,KickArts Contemporary Arts, Cairns
2008 Mater Hospital Collection, Brisbane
2008 Jettison Wove, Craft Queensland, Brisbane
2006 Wabu-barra: Art from the Rainforest, Townsville Cultural Centre
2006 Yabu Mala (Solo),Craft Queensland, Brisbane
2005 The Woven Purpose, CQ Gallery, Brisbane Qld Premiers Cabinet Display