Historical information

Standing proud, still here, the spirit of ten ancestral matriarchs adorned in contemporary ceremonial cloaks. Representing our women past, present and future, her Spirit, our culture, our Country (spelt with a capital for its importance and this is part of First Peoples protocols on acknowledging Country, our strength, our resilience and healing towards a sustainable future). The colours of this cloak refer to natural pink ochre and indigenous flowering plants on Wadawurrung Dja. The pink ochre is sourced by Deanne Gilson at Black Hill in Ballarat, Victoria. Men also made woven dilly bags to hold their possessions in. The basket making was an ongoing aspect of daily life for Wadawurrung people and often done in cooler months when the weather was too bad to go outside. Many women and family groups had their own style and techniques that were traded amongst other groups. Wadawurrung women had a particular stitch they used and incorporated elaborate symbols into the basket designs. Tammy Gilson’s weaving represents this stitch. This cloak pays homage to them and the changing seasons as they created, particularly the cooler months leading into the warmer season when several gum blossom flower.

This cloak was worn once by artist Deanne Gilson at a formal opening at the Art Gallery of Ballarat in 2022. A Welcome to Country ceremony was performed while wearing it.

Physical description

Pink native flower in baskets motif on a pink background on outer cloak, pink and white diamond and circle design in lining. Solid black trimming. Cloak is machine sewn and handstitched with hand stitching on shoulder seam.