Cultural Connections: Research Trip to Brisbane Collections

Cultural Connections is a project partnership between IACA and the National Museum of Australia (NMA). The Cultural Connections Program is partnering with local land councils, shires, and arts and cultural organisations to support community-led projects that strengthen local cultural practices and knowledge transmission.

With the aim of enabling Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural practitioners and communities to develop and/or share their cultural knowledge, histories and stories in a way that is meaningful to them, the Cultural Connections program is supporting the development and delivery of a women’s weaving cultural maintenance camp at Hopevale.

Many of IACA’s member artists feel that traditional weaving skills from their region are being lost. The weaving camp will facilitate intergenerational knowledge exchange of these critical skills. They will also generate high-quality documentation that will create an important cultural archive for future generations.

In preparation for the camp, six artists and artsworkers from Hopevale Arts & Culture Centre and Bana Yirriji Art Centre (Betty Sykes, Anne Nunn, Sonya Creek, Hannah Gibson, Delankah Ross-Hart & Kian Bowen) travelled to Brisbane for some firsthand research into fibre artworks in the museum and gallery collections.

“The trip we went down to Brisbane was really exciting for us. I felt proud to see the family’s material, it made me happy and proud to see it there and a bit sad, you know, for the past and present.” Betty Sykes (Bana Yirriji Art Centre)

Special thanks to Avril Quail at the Queensland Museum for the behind-the-scenes look into the collection, Katina Davidson and Sophia Sambono for their enthusiastic welcome and personalised tour of the exhibitions at the Queensland Art Gallery & Gallery of Modern Art and the friendly staff at the State Library of Queensland. Everyone left Brisbane hugely inspired and enthusiastic for the upcoming weaving camp in Hopevale at the end of May. Stay tuned for the outcome…

The Cultural Connections funding has provided IACA with the capacity to offer cultural maintenance camps for our members to revive traditional practices in weaving that have almost been lost. The legacy from these programs is a wonderful contribution to maintaining the cultural practices of Indigenous people from the Far North Queensland region.

Pam Bigelow Manager, IACA

Main image credit: Sonya Creek, Anne Nunn and Betty Sykes inspecting items from the Queensland Museum collection.

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IACA programs and events receive financial assistance from the Queensland Government through the Arts Queensland Backing Indigenous Arts initiative, from the Federal Government’s Ministry for the Arts through the Indigenous Visual Arts Industry Support program, the Australia Council for the Arts and Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund - an Australian Government initiative. IACA supports the Indigenous Art Code.

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