I grew up in 1960's Tasmania where the myth had been populated that Indigeous Tasmanian culture had died with the passing of Truganini. This falsehood impoverished Tasmanians growing up as I did without knowledge or experience of the efforts to keep cultural konwledge and practices alive.
More recently I have been privileged to connect with some Indigenous Tasmanian artists and craftspeople who are reinvigorating and sharing their cultural practices in local communities and beyond. One of these women is Lola Greeno who has been nominated by her peers as a Craft Australia Living Treasure. Lola is not only the second Tasmanian and third female recipient of this honour, but is also the first Indigenous craftsperson to be recognised through this program. Collaborations is proud to be supporting a touring exhibition of Lola's work in 2014.
My connection with Lola and other programs such as the luna tunapri shell project , through the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, have provided me with the opportunity to support the profile of Indigenous culture and it's contribution to our identity, particularly as Tasmanians. For me this is such an important part of our maturing as a nation, that we have an informed understanding of the full history of this place and celebrate the role of contemporary Indigenous culture in shaping who we all are and what connects us.
I invite you to build your own connections, to look at who you are and where you have come from with fresh eyes. Identity is a complex thing as that great philosopher Shrek acknowledged, "Onions have layers, Ogres have layers!" – we all do.
There is extraordinary potential for our understanding of ourselves and each other if we can integrate and facilitate reconciliation at a personal level in our lives.
Look our for Lola's exhibition this year at a gallery near you.