Janet Fieldhouse Bands 2012. Collection of The University of Queensland, purchased 2012. Reproduced courtesy of the artist and Vivien Anderson Gallery, Melbourne. Photo: Carl Warner.
2 July 2019

Contemporary fibre-based artwork highlighting deep spiritual connections to Country and materiality will feature in a new exhibition at The University of Queensland Art Museum opening on 26 July.

Weaving the Way guest curator Freja Carmichael, a Ngugi woman belonging to the Quandamooka People of Moreton Bay, is passionate about preserving cultural knowledge and supporting the continuation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander fibre art processes. 

“For my ancestors, weaving was a way of life that followed closely to the seasons – fibres were carefully harvested and women would sit and twist reeds to string, loop, knot, coil and plait into unique flat bags, beautiful baskets and intricate mats,” she said.

“In the present, these important weaving practices are communicators of living culture and knowledge.

Weaving the Way features artists and communities from across Queensland who weave together spiritual, cultural, historical and environmental experiences through natural and contemporary fibres, and new manifestations of woven forms, including paintings that contextualise artist relationships to country.

“When I began working on this exhibition, I immediately gravitated to the fibre works in the UQ Art Collection and was excited to showcase them, alongside a number of loaned artworks, in a way that will encourage visitors to experience fibre work in a living, breathing context, not as boxed away museum relics.”

Freja Carmichael said the exhibition celebrated the visual languages of the past and featured artworks imbued with a strong spiritual and physical connection to Country.

“While all of the artworks have been made in recent years, each artist has engaged with and related to the past as they’ve expanded on customary practices.”

Coordinating Senior Curator Peta Rake said the exhibition design emulated fluidity through the landscape and would encourage visitors to explore how objects carry the land, and the importance of the regeneration of kinship knowledge.

“The artworks Freja has chosen for Weaving the Way are grounded in a deep respect for culture and the environment, and we’re honoured to play a role in supporting the celebration of these important and inherently beautiful weaving practices.” 

Weaving the Way will run from 26 July until 14 December.

A list of participating artists and event information can be found here.

Download images for print and web here.

Media: Sonia Uranishi, sonia@soniauranishicommunication.com, +61 409 387 623; Sebastian Moody, s.moody@uq.edu.au, +61 7 3346 8761.