Savonne paints Tjanpi - the Spinifex grass that once dominated central Australia and still grows in abundance in areas not overrun by buffel. Tjanpi has held significance for the Pitjantjatjara people for tens of thousands of years - providing seed which can be ground into flour for damper and resin which is used as powerful glue in making hunting tools and other objects. Tjanpi thrives with care of anangu (people) - with the lighting of systematic mosaic burns across the Lands, the grass is allowed to regenerate and spread its seeds.
The concentric shapes in this painting represent the rings of the spinifex grass, which grows in rings that become wider with age.
Savonne grew up between Papunya - her mother’s country - and Yuendemu - her father’s. She comes from a huge family that extends to Lajamanu, Kintore, Nyrripi and the APY lands - many of whom are artists. These include the late Mr Nelson Jagamarra and Sammy Butcher of the Warumpi band.
Savonne moved to Kalka in 2019 when she and her sister married into families in Pitjantjatjara country.