CollectionNational Museum Australia CollectionNoongar Country, Wetland Glimpses Quilt SetWA Inspired Art Quilters Collection
Owner National Museum of Australia
Location Perth, Western Australia
Maker Denise Mallon
Origin western-australia
Pattern Community Contemporary Embroidered
Date 2010-2019
Dimensions (H x W in cm) 60 x 40


Wetlands, swamps and rivers are home to the Black Swan. Mostly vegetarian, it filters the surface water with its beak for algae or, up-ending and stretching its neck, it reaches the weeds and aquatic plants growing in deeper water. Fishing and hunting around the waterways, the moulting of the swan was an indication to Aboriginal people there was a change of season occurring.

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


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


Materials and techniques: Hand dye fabrics, fabric paint, organza, silk waste, hand embroidery, machine embroidery, free motion quilting.

600 x 400 mm


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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