Donna Blackall is a Gunditjmara, Yorta Yorta weaver currently living on Wauthurung country in Ballarat.
My Cultural Journey is Donna’s first solo exhibition, and our first Project Gallery show for 2020. My Cultural Journey is an exploration of learning and belonging. Drawing upon the country on which the artist spends time, and respect for a cultural foundation based on family knowledge, My Cultural Journey reflects Donna’s totems, country, and kinship connections.
“I am very excited to be holding my very own solo exhibition.
My weaving is very important to me and I often weave on my own, although I have weaved with other groups such as the Victorian Aboriginal Weaving Collective as I like to weave with other weavers.
There has been a big resurgence within the last 10 years. I often talk about weaving generally, to groups and before a workshop as I like to teach and spend time with others as each piece has a story and enables me to challenge myself, such as weaving turtles and making them a little more 3D.
I use NZ flax mainly as it does look green and fresh, therefore, it is easier to teach with in a visual sense. Our plant fibres need a little more processing. NZ flax thrives in Ballarat where I live; cold country. I can spend quite a few hours, weaving in one go, with lots of cuppas, it’s not just a job but reflects family and learning from others such as Aunty Bronwyn Razem, who has been there for me in passing on knowledge, along with what I learnt from family.
I use the blanket stitch or satin stitch.
I honestly did not see myself as an artist until I was 35 years of age. Mum did always encourage me with cross-stitching when I was younger and I went to a workshop in Ballarat with Aunty Bronwyn where we went out by bus to collect plant supplies for weaving. When I hold workshops, I bring in my first basket so people do not feel awful about learning.”
Donna Blackall, 2020
Download the catalogue here
Photos by Christian Capurro