palawa (Tasmanian Aboriginal) artists have come together as a collective group to showcase their art, culture and traditional practises for the first time at the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair.

Their inspiration comes from their old people who created the petroglyph symbols, traditional mariner shell necklaces, waddies, baskets and kelp water carriers, as well as contemporary works, inspired by these traditional arts and crafts. We are proud to share our unique stories of home, culture and survival through these works – some of these cultural practices have continued for thousands of years, others thoughtfully and passionately revived after the invasion of our homeland, Lutruwita.

Featured artist Lillian Wheatly of walantanalinany palingina. Photograph courtesy of walantanalinany palingina.

Featured Artist: Vicki-Laine Green

“My name is maikutena Vicki-Laine Green. I am a Pakana woman, my Country is Lumara-Natana – the general area surrounding and including the Cape Portland area in Northern Eastern Tasmania.

I grew up on Flinders Island in Bass Strait, Tasmania.  Whilst I worked and studies for many years off-Island and raised a family I came home in 2013 and settled into taking my place as a familial Elder and a serious cultural artisan.  It was time to head home where. I have dedicated myself to learning and practicing my cultural arts and healing my Spirit.

During a period of some 12 years prior to that I had started to learn my traditional cultural basketmaking and constructing bull-kelp water carriers.  I also started creating quilts depicting culture, history, familial times, and Dreaming legends which have now become family heirlooms. The major part of my learning in kanalaritja–the ancient craft of shell stringing–was from moekatan Bernice Green who was my sister, my Elder, the mother figure in my life, my best friend and an Elder and traditional artist.

Over the last 16 years I have been fortunate enough to have exhibited in many forums within my home state and now nationally via the kanalaritja Exhibition which has been travelling nationally and will be in Darwin for the period of the Darwin Aboriginal Arts Festival.  In 2011 my sister, moekatan, and I were asked to donate one of our kanalaritja–shell necklaces–to the Kluge-Ruhe International Aboriginal Art Collection in Virginia, USA.”