CollectionNational Museum Australia CollectionNoongar Country, Wetland Glimpses Quilt SetWA Inspired Art Quilters Collection
Register No.1315.2018.PF
OwnerNational Museum of Australia
Location Perth, Western Australia
MakerPat Forster
Origin Perth, Western Australia
Pattern Community Contemporary Appliqué Embroidered
Date2018
Dimensions (H x W in cm)60 x 40

History

Wetlands supplied Noongar people with the key resources of fresh water and food, so were preferred for living except in the winter months when protection from winds and low temperatures was sought inland in the hills. Plant foods supplied carbohydrate; animal foods, particularly fish, supplied protein. Other domestic supplies included: plant medicines, animal skins for cloaks and bags, bark fibre for huts and carrying vessels, gum-resin for gluing, tinder and wood for fires, wood and quartz for tools and weapons, ochre for decoration.

This quilt is part of a 16 piece ‘Noongar Country, Wetland Glimpses’ quilt set made by WA Inspired Art Quilters, a West Australian Quilters’ Association group. The 40cm x 60cm quilts depict aspects of wetlands on the Swan Coastal Plain - swamps, estuaries and rivers, and native plants and animals. Text describes what is depicted on the quilts in terms of relevance to traditional Noongar culture. Noongar people were first custodians of the Swan Coastal Plain.

The quilt set was created in the spirit of reconciliation with the Noongar community, and for educative purposes. Accordingly, the following were carried out.

Noongar consultation in 2018 included

- appraisal by the Shire of Cockburn Aboriginal Reference Group, Perth, June 19
- viewing by Noongar elders at the Western Australian Museum, Albany, July 9, arranged by the Museum
- viewing by Noongar elder women of the City of Perth, August, arranged by the City of Perth

Exhibitions

Initially, the quilt set was exhibited, and talks given about them, at the following venues:

- Western Australian Museum, Albany, July 8 - 29, 2018
- City of Perth Library, August 21 - November 19, 2018
- WA Wetland Management Conference, Cockburn Wetlands Centre, February 1, 2019
- Australasian Quilt Convention, Melbourne, April 11 -14, 2019

Description

Materials and techniques: Aboriginal fabric, Roots and Seeds designed by Rosemary Pitjara; machine applique, hand embroidery, hand and machine quilting.

600 x 400 mm

Acknowledgements

Extensive research underpins the quilt set including from Noongar oral histories, academic works by indigenous and non-indigenous scholars, Native Title submissions, and early settlers' diaries. Quotations relevant to each quilt are available in a digital booklet.

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