Artisan Connect

Weaving the Murray: Mapping, connection and loss

Date : 2010-11-19 10:40:35

DescriptionCraft theorist Sue Rowley noted in the 1997 book ‘Craft and Contemporary Theory’ Craft objects, stories and performance are integrally bound up in our sense of identity, our understanding of the past and our articulation of the unresolved concerns of the present. In 2001 Australia celebrated the ‘Centenary of Federation’, an anniversary that marked the uniting of the Australian states under a federal government in 1901. In South Australia an official Centenary of Federation project, Weaving the Murray brought seven Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists together to weave a narrative based on the social and cultural history of the Murray River, the driest continent’s largest watercourse. This paper outlines how the artists used Indigenous and non-Indigenous stories and textile traditions as strategies for recalling the past history of the river to explore issues of identity, community and loss in the present. It also discusses how the artists negotiated some of the tensions inherent in commemorating, through intercultural art practice, an event that forged national identity through the exclusion of Indigenous Australians.

Name of InstitutionWeaving the Murray: Mapping, connection and loss

Author(s) NameKristen Patin

Added/Updated byKristen Patin

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