A multi-layered exhibition project celebrating the vitality of Indigenous fibre work, Gathering Strands brings together Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander weavers, visual artists and community groups from across South East Queensland at Redland Art Gallery until 24 July 2016.
Fibre art has a history as long and enduring as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. The tradition of using elements from the natural world to create diverse material is a rich expression of culture, identity and place that links generations together.
Curated by Freja Carmichael, recipient of the 2014 Australia Council Emerging Curator’s Fellowship, Gathering Strands is the culmination of a two year journey that has embodied a clear focus on strengthening fibre practices locally. The exhibition presents the work of more than 18 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, including a collective of Quandamooka weavers, practicing fibre artists, and established and emerging visual artists.
Gathering Strands highlights the continuing significance of fibre art in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, and unearths the current practices of a diverse number of artists in South East Queensland. The title of the exhibition refers to the many filaments that have been united through these practices: people, traditions, narratives, places and the continuous and circular relationship to the past.
The journey of Gathering Strands began in 2014 with the welcome support of an emerging curatorial fellowship program from the Australia Council for the Arts. Through both research and an extensive call out, artists culturally or geographically connected to South East Queensland were selected based on their contributions in the field of contemporary Indigenous fibre art.
There was also a growing awareness of a much-needed regeneration of weaving – to support continuance of fibre art traditions. Consequently, the exhibition development embodied a clear focus on strengthening practices locally through workshops, concentrating on expanding skills and knowledge of Quandamooka weavers, and creating new work.
Redland Art Gallery, Corner Middle and Bloomfield Streets, Cleveland
Exhibition continues to 24 July 2016
For more information, visit: www.artgallery.redland.qld.gov.au for details.
Image: Yunggaire weavers display (back clockwise) Sonja Carmichael, Quandamooka Gulayi (DillyBag) 2016, Yunggaire with shells. Donna Page, Belong Together, Medium Round Basket 2016, Yunggaire. Joan Hendriks and Elisa Jane Carmichael, Coolamon Basket with String 2016, Yunggaire. Mary Burgess, Small Basket with Shells 2016, Yunggaire and Shells – photo by Nikki Michail