Document Type

Creative Work

Publication Details

Diana Wood Conroy, 2009, Touching the past: hunting the future, in D. Moon (ed.), Floating Life: Contemporary Aboriginal Fibre Art, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia, 28-41. Refer catalogue essay here. See also blog review here.



Research Background

Floating Life: Contemporary Aboriginal Fibre Art, is a major publication produced by the Queensland Art Gallery that explores the intricacy and aesthetic impact of the Indigenous fibre art, enhancing the links between contemporary and ancient practices.

Research Contribution

Wood Conroy contributed a chapter to this publication emphasising new trajectories in understanding a nomadic relationship to land and demonstrating how ‘hunting and gathering’ traditions still have a powerful resonance in contemporary Australia in discovering fresh ways of using recycled and discarded materials (such as barbed wire, plastic) within an ancient paradigm. The essay examines Aboriginal fibre as a tangible record of culture and history, exploring the place of Missions and remote Art Centres and the evolution of Aboriginal display of fibre, and summarising influences and interactions across the field of Australian art.

Research Significance

The publication accompanied a major exhibition of the same name that presented the Queensland Art Gallery’s collection of Indigenous fibre art for the first time at the Gallery of Modern Art Brisbane. Interest in the book and the collection meant that the book ‘Floating Life’ sold out and has since been republished.