Award-winning Gunditjmara artist and master weaver Bronwyn Razem will use art to inspire learning about First Nations culture during three special basket-weaving workshops as part of CrossXpollinatioN 2018.
A Gunditjmara woman from Warrnambool, Bronwyn comes from a long lineage of traditional weavers. She learned from her grandmother Georgina and mother Zelda Couzens.
Bronwyn has evolved the traditional weaving skills into award-winning contemporary art.
Bronwyn said she believes she is playing her part in the role of cultural history and traditions.
“The ’coming together within the circle of meeting place’ brings forth a unified platform for learning, laughing, giving and joy. We come together as strangers and we leave as a united family. This is what gives me great joy in the sharing of knowledge,” she said.
Bronwyn has played a vital role in the revival of the traditional eel trap. In 2013, her Eel Trap with Emu Feathers granted her the Acquisitive Award in the Victorian Indigenous Art Awards.
The National Museum Australia in Canberra as well as the Art Gallery of Ballarat have curated her Eel Traps for their permanent collections.
As a representative of Ngardang Girri Kalat Mimini’s – four of Victoria’s most prominent Indigenous female artists – Bronwyn was selected to attend the Festival of Pacific Arts in 2016.
A career highlight involved exhibiting two of her Eel Traps alongside artists such as Vicki Couzens, Glenda Nicholls and Maree Clarke—who she had looked up to all her life—in the 2017 Sovereignty exhibition at the Australian Centre of Contemporary Art in Melbourne.
Acting COPACC Manager Tamzin McLennan said Aunty Bronwyn’s workshops would add a new and important dimension to CrossXpollinatioN.
“Indigenous people were Australia’s original and first fabric and textile artists, so it makes sense that in the year that CrossXpollinatioN embraces the theme ‘Journeys’ that we go back to where it all began,” Ms McLennan said.
“It will be a privilege for local people and friends of CrossXpollinatioN to explore the form and function of Indigenous art under the tutelage of one of our region’s most prominent First Nations artists.”
Workshops with Aunty Bronwyn are free as part of CrossXpollinatioN and NAIDOC week celebrations in the Colac Otway Shire, but places are strictly limited.
A three-hour basket weaving workshop will take place on Sunday 8 July from 10am. A three-hour bush animal weaving workshop will take place on Sunday 22 July from 10am. The third workshop is for school children and has been pre-arranged with schools.
To book your place, contact COPACC on 5232 9418 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Places will be allocated on a first-in, first-served basis.
CrossXpollinatioN is proudly presented by COPACC and RRRTAG, and sponsored by Tarndie, Irrewarra Sourdough and Star Printing.
The basket weaving workshops are supported by the Colac Otway Shire Council, Corangamite Catchment Management Authority and the Barwon South West Indigenous Family Violence Regional Action Group.
Featured image: Dingo Dogs
Photo credit: Courtesy of the Koorie Heritage Trust Inc.