····· artist statement
Circles of Life and Light represents our family’s deep spiritual connection and respect for Bunjong Djarra –our Mother Earth; and Dabiyil, our sacred waters which are spiritually healing and life-giving. We draw inspiration from the many stories connected to Quandamooka and caring for Country.
····· Elisa Jane Carmichael & Sonja Carmichael
····· artist's bios
····· Elisa Jane Carmichael
Elisa Jane Carmichael belongs to the Quandamooka people of Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia. Elisa is very passionate about nurturing and preserving her strong connection to the sand and sea, Yoolooburrabee.
Her practice visually explores the beauty of nature and surrounding environment, drawing inspiration from her cultural identity and heritage. She works in an array of colours and materials, weaving her family’s connection to country through paints and fibres.
Carmichael is a graduate of the Queensland College of Art in a Bachelor of Fine Art and is currently completing a Masters of Fine Art in Fashion by Research at the Queensland University of Technology. Her practice traverses across a range of media which has seen her creative works and collaborations exhibited in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia and in the UK, Europe, USA, Japan and India. Her work has been published in national and international publications, whilst she has also facilitated arts workshops. Her work is held in both private and public collections including Redland Art Gallery and Queensland Museum.
····· Sonya Carmichael
Working expansively in the medium of fibre, Sonja Carmichael’s basketry and woven sculptures reflect her family’s cultural connections with the land and seas of Minjerribah. She draws inspirations from the many stories connected to Quandamooka traditional woven bags and explores materials and techniques to continue the making of them today.
Carmichael also uses the diverse lost and discarded items that are washed up on Minjerribah’s shoreline, which she unravels to create new forms. Weaving is central to understanding Carmichael’s deep–rooted connectedness to Country. As she asserts: Despite a painful history of colonisation, we still know the web of family histories since contact and have close ties, connecting to our place of belonging and cultural reinheritance.
Her work reflects the changing patterns of life: Before the Burn — the pre contact era, the Burn — colonisation’s impact on weaving practices and After the Burn — weaving in the regenerative spirit.
Carmichael is currently completing a Master of Philosophy at The University of Queensland, which is exploring the regeneration of Quandamooka (Carmichael is of the Ngugi people) weaving practices.
She works actively across community, sharing her weaving skills and passing on her acquired knowledge of Country. Recently, she has been involved as workshop presenter for the Boomerang Festival (2016); Clancestry (2015); Homeground Festival, Sydney Opera House (2015); and Australian Museum (2015). She has exhibited in group exhibitions, including Woven, BCM Crucible Gallery, artisan (2014); Connections to the Waters of Minjerribah, Redland Art Gallery (2015); and Marketplace, artisan (2015). Her work is held in both private and public collections including Redland Art Gallery and Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art.