Listening when others ‘talk back’
By Kay Lawrence
|April 2001. Doug Nicholls with ring tree, Swan Hill Museum craft+design enquiry issue 1|
Kay Lawrence is a visual artist working in textiles and former Head of the South Australian School of Art, University of South Australia. Her work in community tapestry and as designer of the Parliament House Embroidery, installed in the Great Hall of Parliament House in 1988, activated her interest in how communities express their relationship to place through story and art making. A continuing thread in her practice as an artist and writer on contemporary Australian textiles practice has been the ‘unsettling’ legacy of white settlement on Indigenous Australians and their land.
Abstract: This paper addresses the ethics of inter-cultural collaborative art practice from an Australian perspective, through examining aspects of the project, Weaving the Murray. Anthropologist Deborah Bird Rose in her recent book, Reports from a Wild Country; ethics for decolonisation (2005) notes the legacy of white settler society in Australia, claiming that ‘We cannot help knowing that we are here through dispossession and death’ (Rose 2005, p.6). This is a shocking proposition and an uncomfortable position for white Australians. Yet to ignore this reality is to concede to the continuation of a present violence against Indigenous Australians. This is perhaps not now enacted through dispossession and death, but through another type of violence that sets the past aside and ignores the ‘vulnerability of others.’ (Roth 1999, p.5)
Abstract from Listening when other 'talk back' by Kay Lawrence
Full paper published in craft + design enquiry; Issue 1, 2009, Migratory Practices