Elisa Jane Carmichael

Quandamooka woman Elisa Jane Carmichael is a multidisciplinary artist who honours her salt-water heritage by incorporating materials collected from Country, embracing traditional techniques, and expressing contemporary adaptations through painting, weaving, and textiles. She comes from a family of artists and curators, and works closely with her female kin to revive, nurture and preserve cultural knowledge and practice. Elisa 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. Quandamooka Country comprises the waters and lands of and around Moreton Bay, south-east Queensland, Australia.

Her practice visually explores the beauty of nature and surrounding environment, drawing inspiration from her cultural identity and heritage. Elisa has a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Queensland College of Art, Griffith University (Brisbane, Australia); and a Master of Fine Arts, QUT (Brisbane). She has created woven wearable collections that have been included in Cairns Indigenous Art Fair Fashion program and Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection, Virginia, USA. Recent group exhibitions include Weaving the Way, at The University of Queensland (UQ) Art Museum (2020) and Transits and Returns, Vancouver Art Gallery, Canada (2020). She was a participating artist in the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) Women’s Wealth project for the Asian Pacific Triennial 9 and has been a finalist in the National Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (2018). Her work will be included later in 2020 in long water: fibre stories at the Institute of Modern Art.

With involvement in upcoming exhibitions at the Institute of Modern Art, and again in Vancouver, Canada as well as a range of large interstate shows and public art commissions on her 2020 horizon, Elisa is further developing her practice that sees both new techniques and materials acknowledging, nurturing and protecting her culture and the resources of Quandamooka Country. Through her unique explorations into contemporary Quandamooka weaving and vivacious use of colour and materials, her works are becoming more distinctly recognised by esteemed industry colleagues across the country. Elisa’s work is held in private and public collections across Australia, including the QAGOMA, UQ Art Museum, QUT Art Museum, Queensland Museum, and the National Gallery of Victoria. 

Elisa draws upon her practice to reflect on visual ancestral experiences of Quandamooka Bujong Djara (Mother Earth), to share the beauty, power, and importance of Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island) yesterday, today and tomorrow—ngayigany, ngayiganya, ngayigawa (seen, seeing, will see).

Currently Showing

Present Surroundings
Onespace Gallery, Brisbane, QLD
26 March – 24 April 2021

Queensland Museum, Brisbane, QLD
22 June 2020 – 21 June 2021

Upcoming Exhibitions

Piinpi: Contemporary Indigenous Fashion

Bendigo Art Gallery, Bendigo, VIC
[Dates announced shortly]

Selected Works

Current & Past Exhibitions