In the late 1940s, an arts workshop was set up at the Ernabella Aboriginal Mission in northern South Australia. It provides a continuing opportunity for local women to both earn income and communicate their culture through rugs, batik and wooden works.

From 1996 artists have applied their designs to ceramics. They worked closely with Robin Best and JamFactory Contemporary Craft and Design, in Adelaide. More recently Geoff Crispin has encouraged artists to use manufacturing processes that are effective and easy to manage.

In 2002 Ernabella’s textiles also took a new direction. A project co-ordinated by Pamille Berg translates batik designs into rugs manufactured in China through the companies Korda Bros and Tai Ping.

Works from Ernabella Arts Inc were included in the exhibition 'Smart works: design and the handmade’, staged at the Powerhouse Museum in 2007.

Grace Cochrane, Powerhouse Museum
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