‘It’s like your life. You look after your baskets, you look after your family, you look after your threads of your life, which you weave with your reeds.’
Eva Richardson was born in Hobart in 1936. She is a descendant of the Trawlwoolway people of Cape Portland in north-east Tasmania. Eva’s early childhood was spent in and around Hobart, which afforded her almost unlimited access to resources from the land and sea. Her father was a proud Tasmanian Aboriginal man who possessed a sound knowledge of the bush. It was through her father that Eva began to learn the skills that she employs today as an artist.
Eva works with media including fibre, natural dyes, clays, kelp, fabrics and natural found materials to create work that includes water carriers and woven baskets. Eva sees her work as a ‘hobby’ because her art making ‘comes from the heart and not the head’, though she has been making fibre work seriously since the early 1990s. In 1994 Eva attended the first fibre camp organised by Jennie Gorringe, and met experienced fibre workers including Gwen Egg. Eva stresses that it was the sharing of Gwen’s knowledge and skills at this camp that led to the reclamation of the Tasmanian fibre arts.
A passionate believer in the passing on of knowledge, Eva shares her skills with the young by working in the Aboriginal Education Speakers Program. She is also an active member of her local Community and a committed worker for Reconciliation. Eva has exhibited widely and her work is held in collections in Australia and internationally.
Edited from a biography by Tess Allas for the Dictionary of Australian Artists Online, 2008 Reproduced with permission of the artist, the author and publisher.
Taken from Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery Website