kanalaritja: An unbroken String
This exquisite exhibition celebrates Tasmanian Aboriginal shell stringing practices …past, present and future.
The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery is proud to present a national touring exhibition focused on shell-stringing, one of the Tasmanian Aboriginal Communiity's most culturally significantly and closely guarded traditions.
kanalaritja: An Unbroken String displays 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 cultural revitalisation project.
kanalaritja: An Unbroken String offers a unique glimpse into 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.
A signifier of cultural survival, shell stringing encapsulates the strength of Ancestors and the women who have safeguarded this knowledge for generations. Today more than ever, shell stringing is a celebration of culture and a symbol of identity – an unbroken string that connects the Tasmanian Aboriginal community to Ancestors, Country and Culture. 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 invasion 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 isbe threaded through the exhibition to tie together the themes of; Resilience, Continuity, Identity and Revitalisation.
A Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) touring exhibition. This exhibition is supported by the Visions regional touring program, an Australian Government program aiming to improve access to cultural material for all Australians.
Image Credit: Aunty Lola Greeno, Jeanette James, Aunty Corrie Fullard, Aunty Dulcie Greeno, Bronwyn McAnally. luna tunapri workshop 2015. Image: Matthew Newton