Design Tasmania
Corner of Brisbane and Tamar streets
Launceston, 7250
+61 3 6331 5506

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Designers & Makers

Lillian Wheatley

Lillian is a saltwater woman (muka luna) from the Trawlwoolway nation, North East Tasmania. She is a senior cultural practitioner, knowledge keeper, artist/designer and respected Elder in her community.

Lillian’s work is inspired by her country and life growing up on an island in the Bass Strait. This was the very island her ancestors were subjected to enforced displacement from their homelands. They were forbidden to practice their cultural ways as attempted genocide of her ancestors continued. Today, Lillian’s people are continuing the cultural practices that were taken from her old people.

Lillian’s life growing up on an island has instilled a deep respect for country, for her peoples livelihoods depending on the tide, seasons, moon, wind, just as the original custodians of this land did. As a young child Lillian would gather cuttlefish, kelp, shells, driftwood, treasures washed up from the sea and topaz washed down from the mountains. This childhood pastime grew into a way of life for her.

The influences of her cultural upbringing inspire her to create her pieces. Today when she gathers traditional materials to create her work, she is honouring her people, culture and customs by continuing the thriving, living ancient practices. Her connection and love of her island home and ancestral lands resonate in the exquisite pieces she creates both contemporary and traditional.

View rikawa (kelp) and river reed, presented by Design Tasmania for

Melbourne Design Fair