For Mum

Elisa Jane Carmichael
For Mum, 2017
Ungaire and human hair (My Mum’s [Sonja], my sister’s [Freja] and mine), 7 x 37cm diameter. Photo: Louis Lim


These reeds [Ungaire] have grown in the same place where our ancestors once gathered them. They have grown back the same way that our hair returns to us. My mother’s [Sonja], my sister’s [Freja], and my hair are woven with our reeds, creating a circle of life, a circle of living. My mother’s hair was cut due to her sickness and she weaves like waves with our reeds like our saltwater people. In this circle of life, our country, our people, and ourselves are woven into this fragile, precious life with strength and resilience, holding our place of belonging.