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Helen Gordon - Artist and Storyteller

Apr 15, 2023, 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Helen Gordon - Artist and Storyteller

My clan is Nugal Warra and I am part of the Guugu Yimithirr/Guugu Yimidhirr Nation. My father, Tulo Gordon was an artist and storyteller who inspired me to develop my own creative and narrative skills.  My art tells traditional stories of our Country.

Dily Bag (Mangal Bunga – Clever with Hands)
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have transformed materials from their local environment using skill and innovation for many thousands of years. The process of making tools and complex objects for a specific purpose requires a high level of knowledge of materials, processes, and designs. One excellent example of this technology is weaving, using natural and renewable resources to create items such as baskets and traps.

A wide variety of woven designs were used for fishing, gathering and storing food, and carrying water. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander weaving practices are intrinsically linked to the local environment as they are made from local materials.
Baskets and other woven items were traded for tools and objects from other regions, for example, baskets made from plants from wetlands could be traded to people in inland desert areas, where there are few wetlands, in exchange for things like spinifex resin (which is a very strong glue).

Wetland grasses and reeds were and are still commonly used for weaving many kinds of baskets and fish traps. Both men and women traditionally made woven objects, although today mostly women carry on the tradition. Men made fishing nets, fish traps, and their own Dily bags for carrying useful personal items or for ceremony. Today, more modern fishing equipment is used, and baskets tend to have more of an artistic function, although still address themes of environmental sustainability.

Plan Your Visit


Cnr Furneaux and Helen Streets, COOKTOWN, Queensland, 4895


10:00 AM - 2:00 PM


(07) 4069 5386