Craft ACT thanks the ANU Research School of Humanities and the Arts for its support for Selling Yarns 3: Weaving the nation’s story. Selling Yarns 3, was an unprecedented success, a sell-out for all the events almost as soon as registrations opened. This can be contributed to the momentum and reputation of Selling Yarns 1 and 2 which created a groundswell of support for Indigenous textile and fibre practices and re-established the pre-eminence of Indigenous artistic traditions on the national stage.
Selling Yarns 3 was held in association with the Centenary of Canberra and explored the place of Indigenous textile practices in the story of national building in Australia. It’s primary focus was to demonstrate that through cultural practices a dialogue can be had that draws all interested parties together for the benefit of a rich and sustainable Indigenous culture, and to promote and share contemporary Indigenous textile practice.
Indigenous artists and elders, and art administrators, came together and participated as speakers, workshop facilitators and market stall holders to share their stories, exchange their knowledge and skills, and to trade. They opened their hearts to each other and to other conference delegates and visitors.
“An authentic spirit of reconciliation coursed strongly throughout the four days, with so many stories and examples of practical collaborations and life-changing projects. The conference was a recognition of the important and sensitive work being accomplished by like-minded creators, forging links with the living past and forming models for healing into the future.” - Tim Growcott
Thirty Indigenous communities and art centres and 134 artists from every state and territory in Australia converged on Canberra to participate in Selling Yarns 3: Weaving the nation’s story. There was also great participation from government departments and agencies (federal and state), significant cultural institutions and educational institutions, networks and arts organisations.
Selling Yarns 3: Weaving the nation’s story was a 4 day event that presented a conference, a market day, workshops, an exhibition and associated activities program, and launch of the inaugural Indigenous Art Film program.
It was the premier national forum for Indigenous textile and fibre in the country and was supported by the Centenary of Canberra. Selling Yarns 3 was presented in partnership with the National Museum of Australia and the Australian National University and was hosted at the Museum. The event ran from 28 February to 3 March 2013 and attracted audiences from across the nation as well as international visitors. Indigenous elders, artists, arts administrations and representatives along with members of the general public participated in all the events.
The associated activities highlighted a number of exhibitions, talks and demonstrations and included the exhibition Women with Clever Hands and floor talk by Curator, Dr Louise Hamby and co-Curator, Lucy Wanapuyngu, demonstration of fibre techniques by women from Gapuwiyak (Lake Evella) in Arnhem Land and the Murumbung Yurung Murra Cultural Tour at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve with the ACT Parks and Conservation Service Aboriginal Rangers.
The inaugural film program showcased a variety of genres including documentaries, animation, and experimental video will be screened covering four countries Australia, New Zealand, East Timor and USA. The films provided insights into Indigenous fibre art and its makers and set in scene some of the artistic practices discussed and demonstrated during the four-day event.