CollectionNational Museum Australia CollectionNoongar Country, Wetland Glimpses Quilt SetWA Inspired Art Quilters Collection
Register No.1304.2018.EH
OwnerNational Museum of Australia
Location Perth, Western Australia
MakerElizabeth Humphreys
Origin Perth, Western Australia
Pattern Community Appliqué Embroidered
Date2018
Dimensions (H x W in cm)60 x 40

History

Cardacut, the cormorant dries his wings after fishing and can often be seen perched over water. Nyoongar food gatherers consider cormorants to be a good indication of fish nearby. Plants for medicinal use as well as building materials, food containers and bandages were readily available in wetland areas along with a plentiful source of a variety of food.

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: Background fabric botanically dyed with eucalyptus leaves. Melaleuca fabric designed by Lorraine Canestrini, digitally printed. Merino wool felt, cotton, gauze, organza and tulle. Hand embroidery and appliqué. Machine quilted.

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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