Weaving art and life together

Attention all craftsters! Coming up in Melbourne!

As part of the Craft Cubed festival, The Social Studio (who I wrote about HERE) will transform Federation Square’s Atrium into a magical community space for craft-making. In the hand-dyed silk tent, The Social Studio will run a series of workshops hosted by Super Makers from Sudan, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, Samoa and Sri Lanka.

Super Makers Haus of Savvy Savage & my sistas the Pacific Women’s Weaving Circle will be sharing craft from the heart (as always) in a workshop on Thursday 11 August 2011, 10am-1pm, under the big, Magical Tent.

More details and registration can be found HERE, on the craft Victoria website.

The co-founders of the Pacific Women’s Weaving Circle are artist & educator Lisa Hilli (I wrote about her original work HERE) and weaver/designer Maryann Talia Pau  (also Chief of Haus of Savvy Savage). Maryann is divinely gifted in her craft.

And her recent weaving workshop with Harvest Textiles for the State of Design Festival totally sold out (!!!). Read her interview with the Harvest Textiles blog HERE.

Much more good stuff coming soon in Contemporary Pacific Arts. These are exciting times.

Especially for Pacific communities. In many ways I’m a very individualistic kind of person, and perhaps always will be. But, at the risk of sounding like a wanky wank, with age (that’s impossible to say without sounding haughty, sorry) I’m realising just how important community and interdependence are (in general, and to me personally). The most positive aspects of Pacific cultures, I think, embody those two things – community and interdependence – and weave them together with… weaving! And creative traditions. What westerners would call “art” or craft.

And there is something to that concept that just draws me, like a moth to a golden flame. Continuously, I find myself drawn to individuals, projects and groups that embody and advocate such a concept. Deep down, the cut-throat, competitive culture that permeates much of the developed world has never sat well with me, lifestyle wise. I crave a way of organising and behaving as a society that places just as much emphasis on healthy community and wellness as it does on individual excellence, “progress”, and “productivity” (and by that, I mean specifically that which is productive to a national economy, and a business’ bottom line… i.e. paid work). Trying to create utopias is never a good idea – in fact, it can be downright dangerous. But what if, instead, we questioned bankrupt and false values, and advocated for new ones? And made individual and collective decisions to “buck the system”, so to speak, with the values that we live out and that inform our choices everyday?

Hmmmm. Don’t mind me. Just thinking out aloud.


That’s all for this week. My analytical brain shall return in the next post – for now, I’m riding a weird kind of post-depression high. Some of that has to do with unusually gorgeous weather in Melbourne (I dined in the sun on Wednesday… the SUN!!!) Last Saturday, as I left for the Vanuatu Independence Celebrations, there was a HUGE rainbow over the Western suburbs, and the colours seemed brighter that usual (and, no, I wasn’t stoned). Turned out to be a positive omen for the evening – ridiculously fun dancing (it seems so natural for a community to want to dance together) with what appeared to be a 50% West Papuan mob (“my independence is your independence…”). Then somehow wound up in a friend of a friend’s Latin bar until 3am listening to a woman playing acoustic ballads en Español and sipping some kind of cranberry & rum concoction. With good people (that’s important).

The company of good, genuine people. This nut needs very little else to be happy.

And, despite ill parents (Mum improves, Dad’s turn), things are generally on the up – and, hence, I’m getting things done. Kicking ass at school, and looking forward to writing a show set in 1920s Melbourne as part of my studies (research time… fun!). And I’m finding my voice – my screenwriting voice and ACTUAL voice – again. Prudently sticking to my guns.

Take that, Evil Twin. Take THAT.


2 Comments on “Weaving art and life together”

  1. Maryann Talia Pau says:

    love your work sista!! Am so insanely honoured to call you friend and sista. Bring on the statistics that show an increase in mental health and well being outcomes for Pacific and Indigenous women, thanks to WEAVING!!!

    Can’t wait to see your 1920s show!!!! so excited and happy for you susa xox

  2. Grace Vanilau says:

    You rock suga!! I love this blog, could really start getting addicted to this. Particularly value the honesty…. The Magical Tent ….. was just that. And the Haus rocked the house. Wondered whether we would be blessed with your presence that day….. Keep on keepin on.

    The most positive aspects of Pacific cultures, I think, embody those two things – community and interdependence – and weave them together with… weaving! And creative traditions. What westerners would call “art” or craft…… definitely feeling you on this one!!.

    See you at the Circle, can’t wait to catch up..

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