Paper Maker

Living and practicing in Broome is special. The motivation is different – it is respectful and sensitive story telling. Culture comes from place. Everyone has such a rich and diverse story with strong family connections. It continues to baffle me by how much more I do not know even after close to two decades of living in the Kimberley. I channel that interdependence in my art practice. It embodies my practice with intent and with purpose.

Paper is like my second skin. I have worked with paper since I was a child. For me, working with paper is a lifetime methodology journey. I attended an art residency in Japan in 2019 where I acquired paper making skills. Since then, I’ve successfully worked with my handmade kozo papers on several projects, and I am incredibly surprised and elated by its strength and malleability. Late last year, I embarked on a journey of making paper thread, spinning into spools, steaming, dyeing and spinning the threads again into a new spool, the next process involves weaving the threads with a loom into a piece of paper textile work.

Both the papermaking and paper thread making is extremely laborious but at the same time, incredibly powerful to have this knowledge. Because it’s a lengthy process and requires the patience of a Saint, there is that constant conversation in my head about the future impact and sad loss of not having these techniques or skills shown or talked about in our contemporary society. It is an impending fear that our future generation may only continue to read this in the past tense rather than a celebrated technique in our contemporary art practice.

Winner of the John Stringer Prize 2022