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Weaving circle attracts leading Indigenous artists

Indigenous weavers from Northern Queensland have met on Thursday Island in a cross-cultural weaving circle hosted by the Gab Titui Cultural Centre during the 2018 Winds of Zenadth Cultural Festival.

Guest weavers, including Philomena Yeatman from Yarrabah and Cairns-based fashion designer Grace Lillian Lee, participated in the skills exchange and led a series of workshops for the public during the four-day festival alongside expert local weavers Angela Torenbeek, Flora Warria, Betty Tekahika, Saila Savage, Mariana Babia, Lavinia Uta, Norah Nona and Margaret Gabey.

Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA) Chairperson, Mr Napau Pedro Stephen AM, said the TSRA was pleased to be able to present the workshops to complement the festival programme.

“We are honoured to host some of North Queensland’s most celebrated weavers to share their skills with the many visitors to Thursday Island during festival week,” Mr Stephen said.

“The workshops are part of the TSRA’s commitment through its Culture, Art and Heritage Programme, to facilitate artistic development, as well as a major feature of the Gab Titui Cultural Centre’s public programme.

“These activities are vital to promoting and preserving the traditional skills of our community members.

“They provide us with an opportunity to facilitate cultural understanding, to learn from our elders, and to see the ways in which traditional skills are interpreted across cultures and by different artists into contemporary art forms.”

The event also attracted the attention of the Queensland Government’s Ministerial Champion for the Torres Strait, the Hon. Shannon Fentiman MP, who joined the activities and learned some new skills from the guest weavers.

Torres Strait Islanders and Aboriginal people are advised this website may contain names, images and recordings of people who have passed.