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The Australian Museum acquired our first ghost net work from Erub Erwer Meta (Darnley Island Arts Centre) in 2012.

It was one of several communities now turning these destructive materials into stunning works on art. Each work reflects the communities struggle to protect their marine environment.

At Erub Erwer Meta (Darnley Island Arts Centre), the artists are raising awareness of the deadly impact of ghost nets on the environment by using the net to create sculptural works, bags and baskets, and even jewellery. While at first a bit hesitant about using the smelly, dirty rope that was lying around the art centre, the artists now find great enjoyment in working with the net, much of which originates from south-east Asia.

The Australian Museum first worked with Erub Erwer Meta after Gur Atkamlu (Sea Blanket) was purchased from the Cairn Indigenous Arts Fair in 2012. We then commissioned the art centre to create a work for us to display in our Indigenous Australians gallery. This resulted in the creation of ‘Dauma and Garom’, a magnificent sculptural work which is on display in our exhibition Garrigarang: Sea Country.