Indigenous artist Nannette Shaw has taken home the Koorie Heritage Award for a 3D piece in Victoria.
Shaw won the Viva Energy 3D award with her traditional water carriers: made with kelp, tea tree and river reed.
The awards are typically exclusive to the Indigenous population of Victoria, however Shaw was entered when she discovered she had family roots in the state.
“Even though it’s a Tasmanian water carrier, because of my Boonwurrung heritage, I count in the awards,” she said.
“It totally slipped my mind and then they rang me just before Christmas and told me that I won.”
The awards were held at the Koorie Heritage Trust in Federation Square, Melbourne.
Shaw has had her works displayed across Australia, including Darwin and at In Cahoots in Fremantle.
She said art fairs were a great way to connect with Indigenous artists from across Australia.
“After a while you become a family,” Shaw said.
“You get to know people and you really do connect with them.”
Shaw said for her it was more about displaying Tasmanian Aboriginal culture rather than winning the award.
“I don’t do it for these acolades,I don’t do it for that,” she said.
“I do it for love, for the passion of what I do and the fact that the rest of Australia can look at what we do here in Tasmania and see that we didn’t die out.
“We’re still alive, we’re still strong and we’re still practicing culture, that’s what it’s about more than anything else in the world.”
Shaw said the uniqueness of her kelp sculptures may have been why the judges chose her work.
“I know they did kelp working in Victoria in the Mornington Peninsula as part of my heritage but there’s only a tiny picture of what they made and it’s in a museum somewhere,” she said.
“We're [Tasmanian Aboriginals] the only one’s practicing it because they’ve lost the ability to do that and they don’t know how to do it so that’s my next mission is to teach them over there.”
Shaw said she wanted to start encouraging other Indigenous artists to have their work shown interstate.
“I’m getting them into something they would never think about, somewhere they’re going to and I love that,” she said.
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