Weaving on the Terrace
Sonja Carmichael + Anaheke Metua + Uncle Brian Whap + Anne-Marie Te Whiu
Queensland Terrace, level 2, State Library
Country of Focus / Special Event
#About the event
Duration: 60 minutes
Gather around for this special event and feel the ripple effects from the circle of weavers as we hear from some incredible artists who use their hands to do the talking.
Host: Anne-Marie Te Whiu
Sonja Carmichael is a Quandamooka woman from Mulgumpin / Moreton Island and Minjerribah / North Stradbroke Island, Queensland. She is of the Ngugi people, one of three clans who are the traditional custodians of Quandamooka, also known as Yoolooburrabee – people of the sand and sea. Sonja works specifically in the medium of fibre basketry and woven sculptures, informed by her family’s cultural connections to the land and seas of Quandamooka.
In her practice, she draws inspiration from the many stories connected to Quandamooka weaving, and also explores contemporary materials and techniques – in particular ‘ghostnets’ and fishing lines – that directly respond to concerns about the preservation of the natural environment.
An active member in her community, Sonja is a leader in the regeneration of Quandamooka weaving, passing on cultural knowledge and skills through workshops, exhibitions, and field research.
As well as presenting practical and philosophical aspects of her work, she has shown in group exhibitions, including: Open Hands, Tarnanthi (2020), Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide; Long water: fibre stories (2020), Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane; Legacy: Reflections on Mabo (2019), Umbrella Studio Contemporary Arts and national touring venues; Micro Histories (2019), Museum of Brisbane; Shared Connections (2019), Brisbane City Council Indigenous Art Program; Australian Art Collection (2017), Queensland Art Gallery / Gallery of Modern Art; Gathering Strands (2016), Redland Art Gallery, Cleveland.
Her work is held in collections such as the Queensland Art Gallery, Museum of Brisbane, National Gallery of Victoria, National Museum of Australia, Australian Museum, Art Gallery of South Australia, and Redland Art Gallery.
Sonja Carmichael is proudly represented by Onespace Gallery.
Anaheke Metua is Ngai Te Rangi woman, born and bred in Aotearoa, NZ, relocating to Australia in the late 1980’s and currently residing on Minjerribah/North Stradbroke Island. For the past 20 years Anaheke has dedicated herself to learning the foundations of basketry and arts facilitation, expressing her own unique voice as a contemporary fibre artist and weaver inspired by the stories of her Polynesian ancestors and restoration of her Maoritanga (Indigenous wisdom).
As an exhibiting artist, she demonstrates skill in the construction and composition of interlocking a wide variety of natural fibres in an alternating pattern to create 2D & 3D woven sculpture and contemporary fibre art.
Her works in ‘Many Moods’ speak to the observations and daily rhythms of the night’s sky, seasonal sand migrations and the fruiting and flowering patterns of the native Bangalow Palm on Minjerribah/North Stradbroke Island.
Uncle Brian Whap
Brian is a Torres Strait Islander whose language group is Kala Lagaw Ya and his spoken dialect is Mabuyag. Brian is a cultural educator who contributes his time supporting community organisations and cultural events throughout South East Queensland. Weaving for him was always enjoyed as a hobby, and it later developed into educational workshops and cultural sessions.
Anne-Marie Te Whiu
Annie Te Whiu (Te Rarawa) is a poet, weaver, cultural producer and editor, having worked on Tony Birch's Whisper Songs and the anthology, Solid Air: Australia & New Zealand Spoken Word. She previously co-directed the Queensland Poetry Festival and currently works at Red Room Poetry. Annie is a recipient of the Next Chapter Fellowship and is studying a Master of Indigenous Studies and Master of Māori Studies at Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi.