Night by the Fire – Elisa Carmichael

Post by Lara Croydon.

Elisa Carmichael, Speaking.

Elisa Carmichael, Speaking.

Earlier in the week we had our second A Night by the Fire conversation in our series about the relationship between Indigenous culture and ideas, and contemporary fashion.

Our wonderful speaker Elisa Jane Carmichael shared her journey from visual art to the creation of her first collection of Indigenous fashion pieces.

Elisa began her collection in response to research on Australian fashion which largely shows fashion starting with colonisation without recognition of the thousands of years of Indigenous fashions in place before that time.  At the time Elisa was doing this research her mother was working to re-inherit the weaving techniques of her people in Quandamooka country. This was the inspiration for her to create a contemporary collection of clothing that recognises the original garment making techniques of Australia’s first people.

Interestingly, the technique used by many Aboriginal nations to make strands of string is the same technique used to create fabric today. Elisa had with her a skirt she had made entirely using this technique. Sections of her garments were also made from her fabric prints of her visual art work of her country, woven into strands which were in turn woven to create the shapes of the garment.

It was a beautiful night by the fire and a vibrant conversation around Indigenous culture and fashion. Elisa will be back again with our first speaker Arkie Barton and special guest Grace Lillian Lee for our forum which will conclude this A Night by the Fire Series.

A night by the fire: culture through fashion (forum)

31 May, 6:30pm – 8pm

Auditorium 2, Level 1, State Library of Queensland

Bookings required, $10 entry.