Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery
Fiona Maher
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Kelp tirrina (kelp basket), 2008
larapuna (Eddystone Point)
bull kelp (Durvillaea potatorum)
90x100 mm

‘The artwork that I love to do is inspired by my Aboriginality. Inspiration comes from my many travels around Tasmania and particularly the Furneaux Islands in Bass Strait. My Ancestors are connected to the north-east of Tasmania and the Furneaux Islands and my work is an expression of my Aboriginality and that connection.’

Fiona Maher, born in Launceston in 1966, is a proud Tasmanian Aboriginal artist who expresses her Aboriginality through her art using a variety of media. She began basket weaving in the early 1990s at Aboriginal community workshops with other women, learning weaving techniques created by the Old People. Over the years she has woven baskets using these techniques combined with various materials from the bush and beach, to create contemporary baskets and fibre forms.

In 2007 Fiona commenced her Bachelor of Contemporary Arts (Visual Arts) at the University of Tasmania to extend her skills and try different media. Fiona’s work is partly a reflection of her environment, but mostly comes from within her, ‘coming straight from the heart and mind’.

‘I know a piece is complete when it tells the story I set out to tell, and when my work is going well I feel a sense of pride about myself and my people. Creating art from the natural resources of our land is an important way of handing down knowledge about Country to our younger generations. Sourcing these materials also gives the work identity and continuity.’