Freda Ali Wayartja


Freda Wayartja is a master weaver and cultural leader and educator. She is from Yilan Oustation a Burarra-Martay speaking caln, one of the east-side od Maningrida language groups who specialise in the customary conical dilly bags, woven string bags and mats. She is particularly renowned for the use of mirlarl, (malaisia scandens), a type of vine that grows in the coastal jungle. The use of this vine to manufacture fish traps, barriers and large strong dillybags is unique to this region. 

She is a cultural leader in her community, teaching younger generations of weavers and also regularly leading demonstrations and tours for visitors and tourists. 

In 2022 alongside her sister and artistic collaborator Bonnie Burarngarra, Freda won the Telstra NATSIAA Wandjuk Marika 3D Sculpture Award for their piece An-jucheciya (tradition conical fish trap).  A meticulously woven three meter long fish trap made from Jungle vine,





Date of birth





Past Exhibitions


  • 2022
    Thread Count, Agency Projects & Padre Coffee
  • 2020
    Kunmadj - Woven Objects, Japingka, Perth, WA
  • 2020
    The Alchemists, FORM
  • 2017
    Into the Water, Tactile Arts, Darwin, NT
  • 2016
    NAISDA 40th Anniversary Auction, Auction night at Carriageworks, Sydney
  • 2008
    Palya Art, Palya Art at Mary Place, Mary Place, Sydney, NSW
  • 2005
    2005, Fibreforms, Grantpirre Gallery, Sydney, NSW
  • 2004
    2004 Hogarth galleries, Bark paintings, carvings and fibre works from Maningrida, Hogarth Galleries, Sydney, NSW
  • 2003
    2003 weave, Federation Centre for the arts, Bundoora Homestead, VIC, Weave, Federation Centre for the Arts, Bundoora Homestead, VIC
  • 2003
    2003 Bark paintings, sculpture and fibre work by the Maningrida women artists, Bark paintings, sculpture and fibre work by Maningrida women artists,Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne, VIC
  • 2003
    2003 Threads of time, Threads of time, Burrinja gallery, Upwey, VIC
  • 2002
    2002 Material Witness, Material witness, 15th Tamworth Fibre Textile Biennial, Tamworth City Gallery, NSW
  • 2002
    2002 Fibre: an exhibition of woven art, Fibre: an exhibition of woven art, Raft artspace, Darwin, NT


  • Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, QLD
  • National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, ACT