Tuesday, May 31, 2011

floating land in the Noosa biosphere

On Sunday I went to Boreen Point to see the Floating Land Festival.

Found at the website for the Festival:

boreen point

The focal venue is Boreen Point at Lake Cootharaba in the UNESCO-listed biosphere of Noosa. Lake Cootharaba is the largest lake in the Noosa River system and on a sunny day the lake is filled with boats and boating enthusiasts. The lake is the gateway to the upper Noosa River, the Noosa Everglades and the Great Sandy National Park. The shore of Boreen Point is steeped in history – Eliza Fraser, shipwrecked with her husband master mariner James Fraser, for whom the island is named, was rescued by a convict at Boreen Point in 1836. The village retains strong connections with its early days and many of the old cottages, as well as the original Le Bateau Ivre Guest House, remain standing. The Apollonian Hotel is an important historic landmark and gathering place. The character of Boreen Point has been enhanced over time with ‘Queenslanders’ relocated from surrounding areas and, more recently, designs and lightweight construction responding to the climate and setting have added to the appeal of the village.

artists working on site

Angela Torenbeek, Flora Jo Taylor, Hartono, Ilka Nelson, James Muller, Jeremy Neideck, Jo Tito, Jung Minji, Kirsty Boyle, Kris Martin, Lyndon Davis, Marion Gaemers, Park Younghee, Polly Sara, Ramon Guardans, Dr Ros Bandt, Samson Young, Sue Ryan, Tak Hoyong, Tega Brain and Xanthe Beesley.

noosa biosphere

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) Man and the Biosphere Program (MAB) designated Noosa as a biosphere region in September 2007. This was a first for Queensland, and international recognition of the special character of Noosa. More importantly, Biosphere Reserve status provides a focus for Noosa’s aspirations for a sustainable future – working together to build economies, communities and knowledge, and ensuring coastline, waterways and forest habitats and wildlife are valued, cared for and conserved. Biosphere Reserves are managed by local communities and one of the key criteria met in awarding Noosa UNESCO Biosphere status was the community record of working together to live sustainably in a natural environment.
The World Network of Biosphere Reserves was established by UNESCO as a practical tool to solving one of the most important challenges of our time: How can we reconcile conservation of biodiversity and biological resources with their sustainable use? Noosa Biosphere’s Vision Statement states that the ‘...Noosa Biosphere will be a learning community that cultivates harmony between people and nature, for both conservation and sustainable development’. Floating Land is recognised and supported by the Noosa Biosphere as a key event in realising this vision.

I liked coming across this piano that was positioned overlooking the water ... chairs lined up in front... found the video below of the musician installed to play for the passers-by. When I was there there was simply a sign on the piano saying "play me!"

Brisbane Artist Anthony (Tenee) Dyer plays piano as part of his Floating Land installation beside La
Brisbane Artist Anthony (Tenee) Dyer plays piano as part
of his Floating Land installation beside Lake Cootharaba
( - ABC Multiplatform
watch this video!

There were all kinds of activities and instillations. I'm going to focus on one thing that really captured my attention. At this location by the water there were some sculptural works in situ next to a tent where people had been working.

I decided to drive to the nearby town of Cooroy to the old Butter factory to see the opening of the official exhibition of these woven works.

"The Ghost Net Project is for people from (Indigenous) communities to find ways to work together to get rid of marine debris in their sea country." Djawa Yunupingu, Dhimurru

Ghost nets are a huge problem in the Gulf of Carpentaria, where they drift on ocean currents and kill marine life. The Carpentaria Ghost Nets Program is an alliance of Indigenous rangers and other non-governmental organisations working to eradicate ghost nets. Salt magazine

Go to the Ghost Nets Australia website to read about the program. This is what I found waiting of me which was spectacular to say the least. As I walked around and read more about this work it struck me as an incredibly powerful testament to the fragility of life as we know it on this planet if we don't face the now with intelligence, industriousness and above all good common sense. This exhibition has loads of those qualities and is remarkable for its visual aesthetic above all!

Please note: It is important that any use of these images is quoted crediting origin of 
the work... and this post.I was unable to pick up a brochure - now back in Brisbane I 
find that I cant look up a website for this show to get thedetails on where each work is 
from. I have included Maps and extensive information below and ask that 
all images are quoted with website for Ghostnets Australia and adequate 
information that will lead viewers to this important project.

copy of a photo on poster

I didnt get a shot of the whole work...  I was quite distracted by getting
close-ups of the incredible fibres and weaving in the work.

Context in which we work - "Caring for Country"

"The Ghost Net Project is for people from (Indigenous) communities to find ways to work together to get rid of marine debris in their sea country." Djawa Yunupingu, Dhimurru
We are working in an environment that is extremely remote and unpopulated with areas difficult to access by land. The people are mostly Indigenous scattered in isolated pockets, some in townships created by the establishment of mines and the rest in homelands. This means they have culturally diverse backgrounds and a wide range in their capacity to do things but they all aspire to have greater influence on the management of their coastal resources including threats to those resources. Ghost Net work is but a small part of the larger "Caring for Country" activities that are performed by rangers and community organisations across the whole northern Australia.

Caring for Country is best summed up by a team of medical researchers in their publication:
Healthy country, healthy people: the relationship between Indigenous health status and "caring for country" [Burgess CP, 2009]
For Indigenous peoples, "country" encompasses an interdependent relationship between Indigenous peoples and their ancestral lands and seas. [Burgess, CP 2008] "Country is multi-dimensional - it consists of people, animals, plants, Dreamings; underground, earth, soils, minerals and waters, air. . . People talk about country in the same way that they would talk about a person: they speak to country, sing to country, visit country, worry about country, feel sorry for country, and long for country." [Rose D. 1996]
"Caring for country" means participating in interrelated activities on Aboriginal lands and seas with the objective of promoting ecological, spiritual and human health. It is also a community driven movement towards long-term social, cultural, physical and sustainable economic development in rural and remote locations, simultaneously contributing to the conservation of globally valued environmental and cultural assets. [Morrison J, 2007]
By combining customary and contemporary knowledge, Aboriginal landowners deliver a broad suite of environmental services of national and global significance, including:
  • Border Protection
  • Quarantine Services
  • Wildfire abatement/carbon sequestration
  • Control of invasive weeds and feral animals
  • Biodiversity conservation, fisheries management
  • Water resource management
  • Sustainable commercial use of wildlife
  • Cultural maintenance activities
For more information see Partners - and Reports - for the full article:

How are we fixing it?

As only about 10% of the Ghost Nets found so far are of Australian origin this makes finding a solution to the problem a complex issue needing more than just a quick fix cleanup & an education campaign to local fishermen. It needs:

Photo courtesy WWF
  • Capacity building of Indigenous rangers to continue managing their sea country beyond the life of this project,
  • Accumulating quality information in the form of research and data so that government & non-government organisations have useful tools to assist them to broker International solutions to stopping the source of this menace, and
  • Finding solutions to the disposal of this incredible amount of non biodegradable rubbish, apart from the current method of land-fill.

View Image

Turtle escaping

Image taken: 0000-00-00

Photographer: Djawa Yunupingu, Director of Dhimurru
Land Management Aboriginal Corporation
Subject: Hawkesbill turtle getting away from net
Location: Cape Arnhem, 2001

View Image

At the dump site for ghost nets

Image taken: 2005-10-14

Photographer: Jane Dermer
Subject: At the end of the day at dump
Marthakal Rangers & Sam Muller
Location: Galiwin'ku landfill, Elcho Island, Northern Arnhem Land

View Image

6 Tonne Taiwanese Gill Net

Image taken: 2006-11-10

Photographer: Jane Dermer, Carpentaria Ghost Nets Project
 Officer based at Dhimurru Land Management Aborigianl corporation
 office in Nhulunbuy, Northern Territory.
Subject: 6 tonne net retrieved from ocean off Arnhem Land
 by a joint operation with Aust. Fish Mangagement Authoirty,
 customs, NT Parks & Dhimurru personnel
Location: Nhulunbuy, North East Arnhem Land,
Northern Territory, Australia

Th is festival is on for a another week. I'm so pleased I was up the coast for a workshop I conducted at Caloundra on Saturday... it was an easy trip to see this on Sunday.

Have a good week everyone!

PS: This Saturday coming I'll be presenting my Homage to the Seed project at a brilliant event in Brisbane... read more at studio blog here. If you're in Brisbane there's some great things to get involved with on the day! I'll add that later this week.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

textile love...

There have been places I've lived that needed a distinct injection of life and colour to make them feel  more livable... favourite things can do this, plants and flowers help... but textiles for me can do something very important ...and he good thing is often on a shoe-string... an op-shop find or hand-me-down piece of fabric can hold so much life in it.

One year I took some 2 metre pieces of light-floaty fabrics to a holiday place and turned the spare cabin into a cosy colourful 'home'. There are some fabrics I have stored on a shelf that the mere sight of make me feels very at home...
                                           ...why is this?

Do you have this feeling for fabric and textiles?

I liked this image below... put it on tumblr the other day... perhaps the ceiling fabric I'd pass on...  but the elements are so inviting in this shot.


places to rest easy…
scanned by moodboard

bohemianshoebox:  places to rest easy… scanned by moodboard

Here's a place for you to go on a quick excursion ...a wonderful blog called World of Textiles or WOT.
I've toured around this site to bring you a taste of eclectica... as i did I started thinking how I wish I'd photographed some of my fav pieces over the years from my home. You dont think abut it till moments like these ... at least I didn't.
Such riches ... personal stories and layers of cultural histories are found in the threads of our textiles.

Louise's Mother in The Tapestry Gallery:1911








RECYCLED PAPER YARN - Greetje van Tiem





ECO - 366CM



Sann Annukka - Marimekko


Nathalie Lete

Mina Perhonen


Miranda July and others...

Images from ThirdDrawerDown

Op Shop Love by Grrl + dog

Chop Wood, Carry Water -  from the fabulously talented Grrl + Dog

So much more to explore... but I must leave you with something that inspires on so many levels:

eco-dyed cloth - India Flint

Read this post from the fabulous India on her writing and books: felt like telling stories at her excellent blog Not all those who wander are lost .

I cant wait to see India's second book...

SECOND SKIN by India Flint -click on title 
Almost from the moment of our birth, clothing acts as our second skin, yet we rarely consider where our clothes have come from and the effects they might have on the environment and ourselves. This heartfelt, practical and topical book is about easily achievable ways in which we can care for our planet by living simpler lives and using fewer resources, specifically those to do with cloth and clothing. Beautifully photographed and illustrated by the author, it presents information and inspiration on selecting, acquiring, wearing, caring for, making and repurposing textiles and clothing.