Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery
Larapuna (Eddystone Point)

The seventh and final tayenebe workshop in the series was held in the north east of Tasmania at Larapuna (Eddystone Point) in November 2008.

It was there that the largest group of Aboriginal women gathered including 15 weavers: Gloria Andrews, Sonia Brown, Patsy Cameron, Audrey Frost, Dulcie Greeno, Tanya Harper, Fiona Maher, Vicki maikutena Matson-Green, Colleen Mundy, Eva Richardson, Tahana Rimmer, Zoe Rimmer, Theresa Sainty, Nannette Shaw, Vicki West plus six others: Julie Gough (curator, TMAG), Trudi Brinckman (project assistant, TMAG), Lexi Clark (multimedia, DEPHA) Vicki Farmery (photography, TMAG), Anne O’Connor (photographer) and Lola Greeno (Arts Tasmania).

This workshop saw some amazing new baskets being created and others that had been completed in recent times. Inspiration was drawn from the different places, plants and women who had worked together during the tayenebe process.

Throughout the workshops, the women saw changes along the way from new weavers to new tutors. At the first workshop Dulcie Greeno, the eldest weaver in the tayenebe project, learnt from Colleen Mundy, and at the final workshop Dulcie showed Tanya Harper, new to the project, how she twined her basket.

‘On the land, you come on this land here, Larapuna, and you sit out the front and you can hear the ocean and you just sit there and it’s like I can feel the Ancestors around,watching what we are doing.’

Nannette Shaw, November 2008

A special element of the Larapuna workshop was that women were free to come and go, and to bring their grandchildren for a few days.

The more workshops that were run, not only the more the numbers of participants and interest increased, but also the more the quality of work improved with larger scale woven baskets and bags being made.

Many were serious about striving to produce quality work and they found it both labour intensive and frustrating that natural fibres do not behave exactly how you would like, with each leaf a different length and each stripped piece of fibre not necessarily turning out exactly the right width. The most common comment from Larapuna was the desire for more women’s cultural camps that aim for best outcome and best practice so that the end result is something the women are proud to be involved in while learning and sharing together.

Photographer: Anne O’Connor

Other workshops