Weaving workshop success

WEAVING SUCCESS: Gunditjmara artist Tabitha Williams has expressed her success with her weaving project. Picture: FILE

Charlotte Varcoe

TRADITIONAL weaving has taken off across Mount Gambier/Berrin with Gunditjmara woman Tabitha Williams hosting a range of workshops.

After being a recipient of the 2023/2024 Creative Arts Funds project Ms Williams has hosted a range of workshops where participants craft individual woven rounds which will then combine to form a sculpture of algae.

Since being approved, Ms Williams has been travelling and teaching others the traditional craft for the project labelled Sea Weave.

“We have started doing all the weaving sessions out in the community and we have run over 12 weaving sessions now in the community,” Ms Williams said.

“We have been going to nursing homes, schools and out into community spaces like cafes and a whole range of places.”

She said the oldest weaver taking part in the overall project was aged 104 years while the youngest was only four.

“We have attracted weavers from all walks of life and so far the response to the program has been overwhelmingly positive,” Ms Williams said.

“We have got another 18 more sessions booked in and we are scheduling more every day so it is going really well.”

She said when she initially proposed the project to council she spoke to them about council receiving the sculpture.

“That was not the important part of the project,” Ms Williams said.

“The important part was the collaboration of coming together and weaving together because like out old people who would gather together and weave together and yarn and to me that was the strength of this project.”

She said having the sculpture at the end of the project was “really cool” but it was the process of making the woven rounds and seeing the outcomes of that.

“We have had a person come to the sessions who were really shy and reserved and did not talk to anyone then by the end of the session they were talking to everyone so there are people who really engage,” Ms Williams said.

“There was another lady who took to weaving and enjoyed it so much that she then got together with her friends from different walks of life and hosted sessions to come and weave together.”

She said it was these interactions coming from the project that she was most excited by and hoped would come to light.

Ms Williams said the interactions made by her daughter Mabel was also a positive outcome of the project with Mabel being heavily involved.

“It is important culturally that we involve our young people and bring them along with us because while this country has a black past it also has a black future and we have to support our young people to take leadership roles and Mabel has taken a significant role in this project,” she said.

The project is aimed to be completed by the end of April with a workshop being held today at the Mount Gambier Library.