Murray Darling Dreamtime Weavers, Weaving Stories (Murray River), Collaborative weaving installation. Photo: Fleur Ruddick

Woven fishnets by Murray Darling Dreamtime Weavers Clair Bates, Tina Doolan, Samantha Doolan & Jennifer Bates. Photo: Danielle Hanifin

Jennifer Bates is a descendant of the Maliangappa / Paakantji people of the Darling River from Wilcannia NSW. She comes from a very large Aboriginal family and a strong Aboriginal community group that reside in Wilcannia, Broken Hill and throughout Western New South Wales.

Jennifer grew up in Wilcannia on the “Mission” which was a settlement that was created to separate Aboriginal people from the White community. She still has strong family and community ties with her Aboriginal people and, in particular, with her traditional land Mutawintji that was handed back to Traditional Owners in 1998. Jennifer recently moved to Wentworth, NSW in 2014.

Jennifer is the mother of 6 children: 4 daughters and two sons, and has 31 grandchildren. She is also an Elder that practices and teaches traditional Aboriginal dance.

Jennifer’s work generally explores the stories of both her clan groups from the Maliangappa and Paakantji tribes of Western New South Wales. Jennifer paints landscape and also has been making pottery. She has exhibited her artwork throughout New South Wales. Since she has moved to Wentworth, Jennifer has become an apprentice Weaver with the Murray Darling Dreamtime Weavers, learning different weaving techniques from Master Weaver Clair Bates.

Murray Darling Dreamtime Dancers, Weaving Stories (Murray River), Opening Night Performance, Photo: Fleur Ruddick