Elisa Jane Carmichael
Bringing her home (SOLD), 2018
Synthetic polymer on canvas, 200 x 116cm
Photo: Louis Lim
In 2015 I was reunited with our precious Quandamooka baskets at Pitt Rivers Museum. I became shocked to read the derogatory terms labelling the baskets, one stating “…made by… Gin, she was so called because she was so very ugly. These were not their native names”. This basket was alongside another basket labelled “collected from the scene of a massacre in Moreton Bay”.
Bringing her home erases these labels, reclaiming the beauty, resilience and strength of our ancestors. Euggarie shells may have filled this basket before it was taken by the colonisers. The net of life and subtle colours of our traditional weaving fibre, yunngaire are gently carrying them home to Country, back where they belong, where the reeds still grow strong today on Minjerribah.