Selling Yarns 2

Innovation for sustainability



Tayenebye: Tasmanian Aboriginal women's fibre work workshops and touring exhibition

Session: Museums as drivers for innovative practice Saturday 7 March 2009 9:05 - 10:30am

Lola Greeno

Program Officer, Aboriginal Arts, Arts Tasmania


Tayenebe is a partnership project between Tasmanian Aboriginal women fibre-workers, Arts Tasmania, the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery and the National Museum of Australia. Conceived as a cultural maintenance project, Tayenebe focussed initially on the revitalisation of women’s fibre work in Tasmania assisted by an ongoing series of workshops held since 2006 across Tasmania.

The passing of a senior Tasmanian Aboriginal weaver brought the realisation that the unique Tasmanian Aboriginal basketry form remained in the hands of only by one other skilled Elder. The risk of losing again the knowledge and cultural connection to plants and their making into objects inspired both the Tayenebe workshops program and its recent development into a major touring exhibition.

The exhibition Tayenebe: Tasmanian Aboriginal women's fibre work will showcase unique aspects of Tasmanian Aboriginal cultural production including work made from plant fibres, kelp and shells. Contemporary works will be exhibited alongside historic pieces that together highlight the processes and significance of making to cultural survival.

Lola Greeno, Tasmanian Aboriginal Project Officer at Arts Tasmania, will speak about the inception and development of the Tayenebe project. Focussing on the workshops to date and their part in reviving plant and basketry knowledge, skills and specific weaving techniques for Tasmanian Aboriginal women Lola will also discuss their growing significance to the wider community through education programs.

Julie Gough, curator of the upcoming Tayenebe touring exhibition will discuss aspects of designing this exhibition that spans many generations, places and forms. Tayenebe is a Tasmanian Aboriginal word meaning exchange. Varied reasons for the making and the collecting of Tasmanian Aboriginal fibre objects will be considered in terms of their connection with processes of exchange.

See also: Lola Greeno's biography