Onespace Gallery is very excited to return to the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair in 2019 for its 10th Anniversary (12-14 July). This year we will proudly present new work by Sonja Carmichael, Elisa Jane Carmichael and Tamika Grant-Iramu.
A catalogue essay by Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Queensland, Sally Butler, has contextualised their respective bodies of work under the theme of Taking cultural heritage personally. As Butler suggests:
“The Australian art scene is experiencing a new generation of artists who remind us that art inspired by First Nations cultural heritage also involves a high degree of personal expression. In these artworks, we see evidence of stories, techniques, and imagery passed down from ancestors through a twenty-first-century lens of individual interpretation. The collaborative work between mother and daughter Sonja and Elisa Jane Carmichael and the wall installation by Tamika Grant-Iramu both exemplify this heritage-inspired expression of individuality. These artists apply ancient First Nations techniques of weaving and carving respectively to forge a complex image of what it means to be a contemporary artist guided by cultural heritage”.
SONJA CARMICHAEL is a Quandamooka woman from Moreton Island/Moorgumpin and North Stradbroke Island/Minjerribah, Queensland. She is a descendant of the Ngugi people, one of three clans who are the traditional custodians of Quandamooka, also known as Yoolooburrabee – people of the sand and sea. Sonja works mainly in fibre basketry and woven sculptures, reflecting her family’s cultural connections with the land and seas of Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island). Weaving is central to Sonja’s deep-rooted connectedness to Country. She draws inspiration from the Quandamooka traditional woven bags. Sonja also explores contemporary materials and techniques, incorporating discarded items that wash up on Minjerribah – particularly ‘ghostnets’ and fishing lines – which she integrates into new forms. Sonja’s work is represented in the QAGOMA collection and she is undertaking a Master of Philosophy in Art History at the University of Queensland.
ELISA JANE CARMICHAEL is a Ngugi woman from Quandamooka Country (Moreton Island/Moorgumpin and North Stradbroke Island/Minjerribah, Queensland). Her practice honours her cultural heritage by incorporating materials collected from Country, utilising traditional techniques and expressing contemporary adaptations through the mediums of painting, weaving and textiles. Elisa is very passionate about preserving her strong connection to the sand and sea. Her practice explores the beauty of nature and the environment, drawing inspiration from her cultural identity and heritage. Elisa holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts, QCA (Griffith University); and a Master of Fine Arts, QUT. Elisa’s creative works and collaborations have been exhibited nationally and internationally in the UK, Europe, USA, Canada, Japan and India. Her work is collected by: QAGOMA, UQ Art Museum, QUT Art Museum, Queensland Museum, National Gallery of Victoria, Redlands Art Gallery, Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation, and the University of the Sunshine Coast.
TAMIKA GRANT-IRAMU graduated from the QCA (Griffith University), with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2017, majoring in Interdisciplinary Print Media. Her work focuses on Torres Strait Islander printmaking techniques and storytelling aesthetics. She was a finalist in the 2018 (35th) Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Awards, Works on Paper Award and was recently awarded an Australia Council for the Arts grant (Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Panel). Inspired by the immediate environment of Brisbane, her striking large-scale print installations focus on minute areas of native flora within urban ecosystems creating a diverse range of organic patterns and forms. In 2019 Tamika has been curated by Blaklash Projects into Brisbane City Council’s Indigenous Art Program and selected for the Haugensund International Festival (Artistic Relief Print), Haugensund Art Gallery, Norway.
Icon Image: Elisa Jane Carmichael, Alive, ungaire, lomandra, pandanus, fish scales, shells, discarded sea rope, raffia, synthetic fibres, fishing net and metal, 140cm x 58cm x 8cm. Photo: Louis Lim. Courtesy of Onespace Gallery.