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Connecting to Country through paints and fibres

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Aboriginal woman with long wavy hair and wearing scarfs around her neck stands in open bushland with a range of hills in the background.
Elisa Jane Carmichael (Photo courtesy of Hannah Millerick)
9 Apr 2018

Elisa Jane Carmichael connects to her saltwater country of Yoolooburrabee through her paintings and weavings which have been exhibited around Australia and the world.

The Quandamooka woman from Moreton Bay in Queensland holds a degree in Fine Art and a Masters of Fine Art in Fashion at the Queensland University of Technology.

She was drawn to weaving and clothing as art forms while doing her Master’s degree and researching a museum collection.

‘After visiting the Queensland museum and looking at their collections and baskets, I was inspired to weave contemporary garments to acknowledge the strength of structure of our weaving techniques, the first forms of Australian textiles,’ Elisa said.

Inspired by saltwater country, her products incorporate looping, twining and coiling techniques which are used all around Australia. But there is a specific Quandamooka weave loop and knot which she readily uses in her creations.

Weaving of multiple colours showing concentric circles of cord radiating outward.
Coil strand by strand (Photo courtesy of Elisa Jane Carmichael)

As well as exhibiting her work, Elisa holds workshops where she teaches her techniques and explains the theory, culture and history behind her work.

She has presented her university research at Oxford University in the United Kingdom and has been published in national and international publications.

‘I will continue to learn, research and develop my work as a Quandamooka fibre artist and painter,’ Elisa said.

When asked what she hoped for the future of her art and Indigenous art in general, Elisa said, ‘To be seen and to be heard and to be shared.’

Find out more

For more information and to view her artwork, visit Elisa Jane Carmichael.

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