kanalaritja: An Unbroken String

Opens 09-12-2016,  closes 21-05-2017

Argyle Gallery 4


kanalaritja: An Unbroken String will offer the Australian public a unique glimpse into shell stringing, one of the most culturally significant and closely guarded traditions of the Tasmanian Aboriginal community.  This Community journey has never before been the focus of a touring exhibition, nor comprehensively documented in a dedicated publication.

The exhibition will feature a variety of beautiful, delicate and rare works evidencing the stringing skills of Tasmanian Aboriginal Ancestors in the 1800s, the continuation, innovation and expansion of the practice by women on the Furneaux Islands in Bass Strait during the early 20th century, acclaimed makers of today as well as a new wave of stringers who had the opportunity to learn the tradition through the luna tunapri (women’s knowledge) cultural revitalisation project.

kanalaritja: An Unbroken String is a culmination of this journey of resilience and revitalisation – a testament to one of the oldest continuous cultural practices of Tasmanian Aborigines that, like the Community, has endured, survived and proudly asserts a continuing presence and diversity.

Shell stringing is one of the only practices that not only withstood the impacts of colonisation but adapted and evolved to include intricate and delicate patterns of numerous shell types and most recently the artistic inclusion of other natural materials such as kelp, furs and echidna quills. The lives and practices of key makers will be threaded through the exhibition to tie together the themes of resilience, continuity, identity and revitalisation.

Following its showing at TMAG, kanalaritja will tour to Melbourne, Canberra, Albany, Geraldton, Adelaide, Darwin, Toowoomba, Grafton, Sydney and Launceston throughout 2017-19.

To find out more about the exhibition, visit the dedicated website at http://www.tmag.tas.gov.au/kanalaritja.