Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Tasmanian Aboriginal shell stringing gains international recognition

The Premier, Lara Giddings, today congratulated two respected Tasmanian Aboriginal shell necklace makers whose work has been selected to appear in a prestigious exhibition in the United States.

Ms Giddings said works by Aunti Corrie Fullard and her daughter Jeanette James had been selected for the Forces of Nature exhibition at the Australian Embassy in Washington DC, which opens on 16 November 2011 and continues until February 2012.
“Curated by Melissa Keys, an Australian contemporary art curator currently living and working in the United States, Forces of Nature draws together the work of thirteen of Australia’s most significant artists working in the field of jewellery and small sculpture practice,” Ms Giddings said.
“The exhibition investigates the intricacies of land and sea, flora and fauna, while exploring the complex relationship between contemporary Australia and its unique natural environment.”

Aunti Corrie Fullard is a respected elder of the Tasmanian Aboriginal community and the tradition of shell stringing was passed down through many generations of her family, including to her daughter Jeanette.
The art of shell stringing is a valued Palawa cultural tradition that has remained intact and continued without interruption for many thousands of years. 
Ms James said the cultural and artistic aspect Aboriginal shell necklace stringing had been difficult to explain to some overseas countries.
 “Exhibitions such as this one help educate international audiences about Tasmania and the Aboriginal culture and practices.
“My mother and I were excited when we were invited by the curator to be a part of this exhibition and we are very honoured to be considered two of Australia’s most significant artist working in the field of jewellery and small sculpture.”
Ms Giddings described the pair as an inspiration to all Tasmanian artists.
“The recognition of Tasmanian Aboriginal shell stringing at an international level is incredibly significant and I commend Aunti Corrie and Jeanette for continuing to preserve this important traditional practice.”