"While trying to imagine wetland areas prior to white settlement, I envisaged that, owing to the land being inhabited for 40,000 years and the importance of water and wetlands to the inhabitants, there would be well defined walking trails connecting all water sources."
[Roberta Chantler, 2018]
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: Commercial plain cloth. Abstract design freehand drawn with fabric crayons. Hand stitched with commercial threads.
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.