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  • Emma Stenhouse Emma Stenhouse (Ngarrindjeri), Lakun Lense

Emma Stenhouse (Ngarrindjeri), Lakun Lense

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synthetic polymer paint on board, 2023


When I listen quietly I can hear the beat of my heart, I close my eyes, I imagine the blood rushing through my veins, keeping me alive. I am reminded that the Murrundi (river), Ruwe (land) and connection to Country also sustains me, keeping me alive. Everything must remain in balance to flourish. My Miwi (spirit) is connected to these lands. They are in all I see and feel, woven so lightly together, the knowledge, understanding and wisdom is flowing like our waterways, sometimes fast, sometimes a slow trickle but the connection is never broken. Lakun (weaving) is my way of seeing it and my knowing, shared with me by my Elders.


Artist Bio:

Born In Broken Hill, Outback NSW in 1979. Growing up disconnected from Culture, Emma has since established strong links with her father’s family, connecting with her Pinkie and Bonny and Karpany heritage. Her grandmother being Estelle Daphne Pinkie from Ngarrindjeri lands in the Coorong S.A. Emma is mentored by her Aunty Glenda Nicholls, master weaver, and sharer of family history.

Emma has been a creative her whole life and has explored many mediums including printmaking, screen printing, block print and Lino printing, sewing and designing. Since connecting to culture Emma has been exploring weaving the traditional weaving of the Ngarrindjeri women, the coil weave. In 2018 Emma began painting using Synthetic Polymer Paints to create artwork to represent the story of the Kuyang migration, with the permission and guidance from Elders of the Peek Whurrong People of the Marr Nation. This piece has been used for education in a local Kindergarten, and has sparked a prolific painting practice. Emma’s work is predominantly inspired by nature and connection to Country using elements of contemporary art and traditional Iconography. Emma ignites the flame of love of Country in other hearts and minds. A multifaceted creative, she explores diverse practices. Each piece is braided with learning, exchange between artist and viewer, a continuation of culture - a platform for cross cultural exchange.

An experienced early childhood educator, Emma imparts her knowledge of culture, implementing programming including traditional Indigenous creative practices guided by her Elders and Gunditjmara Elders. A gatherer and sharer of knowledge, she uses this to guide her own journey. She builds capacity for others to learn and develop their own connections to art, culture and Country. Emma now lives in Warrnambool, with husband Shane, sons Lachie and Fraser and honours her Daughter Asha who has gone to her Dreaming.