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CDU Art Collection and Art Gallery

long water: fibre stories

Long water text image

long water: fibre stories illuminates spiritual, ancestral, and physical connections to water through fibre practices of artists from Yuwaalaraay (North West NSW), Quandamooka (Moreton Bay, South East QLD), Kuku Yalanji (Far North QLD), Zenadh Kes (Torres Strait Islands, QLD), Yurruwi (Milingimbi Island, NT), and surrounding homelands. Together this group—Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, spanning different generations and ancestries—share an inseparable relationship to water, be it the vast sea, inland waterways, or expansive river systems.

Water places have always been a well-spring of vitality, knowledge, and connection for people and culture, yet these sites also resonate with the experiences of colonisation, difficult histories, and the pressing environmental concerns of today.

Similarly, fibre work communicates a strong sense of history, place, and knowing, found in the meanings, materials, and processes of production. In long water, artists embed the links between water and weaving in intricate forms, layered prints, and spirited installations that are guided by ancestral memory and grounded in personal interpretations.

Collectively, long water celebrates the stories of regeneration and continuation of important cultural traditions, and the strong women and vital water places that sustain them. The country, and wide range of environments, practices, and knowledge represented speak to both deep time and contemporary experiences—bringing into focus the importance of water to our cultural health and our capacity for resilience.

This exhibition has been developed through relationships with artists and communities, particularly the Milingimbi Art and Culture Centre and Moa Arts.

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