Aboriginal artists Aunty Cynthia Hardie, Eva Ponting and and Lyn Thorpe worked with Japanese born artist Naomi Ota over an 8 month period to create the installation Vessels of Life . Each of the women are highly regarded for their specialist skills and knowledge of textiles and cultural traditions.
Combining organic, raw and man-made materials, the artwork engages with diverse cultural histories, artistic traditions and expertise such as weaving and making fibrous textiles. In Aboriginal cultures coolamons were traditionally used by women to carry food, water or cradle babies.
In Vessels of Life, their inclusion represents spiritual birthplace, cycles of life and gathering sustenance. Silk is widely recognised in both Asia and European cultures for its strength, beauty and resilience and the Japanese have long utilised silk worms for craft-based textile production.
Within the work, raw silk threads are placed tree-like in the space create a sense of movement and flow, complementing the suspended mobiles which refer to blood-lines, genealogy and a sense human connection.