Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery
Nannette Shaw
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Mother sea, 2008
larapuna (Eddystone Point)
blueberry (Dianella tasmanica)
95x230 mm

‘It represents the sea. I find the colours in the blueberry represent the colours of the kelp and the ocean itself. The finer weave represents the calmness that is in the ocean and the thicker weave represents the kelp and it also represents the roughness of the ocean than can be there. The finer tendrils that have come out represent the kelp, to me the kelp that the sea has given up to us upon the sea shore because we don’t take the kelp from the ocean, we take what the sea gives us.’

Nannette Shaw was born in Launceston in 1953. Her family is from the north-east of Tasmania. From the age of three, Nannette lived on Flinders Island in Bass Strait with her immediate and extended family. During her life on Flinders Island she learnt many of her cultural practices from her mother. In late 2000 Nannette returned to Tasmania after living away for 30 years.

‘Returning to Tasmania has given me the chance to reconnect with my people and heritage. In the eight years since coming home, I have developed my skills and knowledge about Tasmanian Aboriginal basket weaving. Since returning, I have also learnt the art of working with bull kelp, a medium I enjoy very much. What I have learnt I am willing to pass on to the younger generation who are willing to learn.’