Artist Emily Doolah draws on her Indigenous heritage and knowledge as a means of educating and passing on the rich and diverse beauty of Torres Strait. Exploring fish motifs through the use of traditional weaving practices and contemporary materials, Emily demonstrates the importance of art in maintaining cultural dialogue.
Describing her Indigenous knowledge as the essence for the survival of cultural and traditional practices, Emily uses art and fashion as a means of fusing the old with the new. “This knowledge of cultural and traditional practices has been passed on for many generations. It has been nurtured and refined, as part of expressing my cultural identity, which is linked to people, land, and community,” she explains.
“As a Torres Strait Islander, the ownership involves roles and responsibilities for each individual to look after and safeguard their own traditional and cultural practices, because the past must exist for the present to create the future”.
Creating art as a way of linking the past with the present, Emily uses her craft as a means of preserving and educating audiences of the beauty of Torres Strait. In collaboration with the FNFD, she showcases how to manipulate and deconstruct palm leaf fish weaves, by using contemporary materials to enhance and revitalise traditional weaving practice.