Back to Gallery


‘Story Threads’ is a participatory installation artwork created with the Koolbardies Talking Women’s Circle and community participants, under the direction of visual artist Renée Barton.

The hessian blanket is a patchwork of documents relating to the suppression of aboriginal culture as a result of white settlement. The blanket includes sections of the Aborigines Act 1905, Native Citizenship Rights Act 1944, Native Welfare Act 1963, posters advertising the 1967 equal rights referendum, early Peel region settlement maps and real estate advertising. The documents have been transferred onto the hessian by hand and stitched together by the community artists who have worked together to create the artwork.

A composition of stories shared by local Noongar women exists underneath the hessian blanket. These stories provide some insight into culture of our traditional land owners and the lasting impact of white settlement on Aboriginal people. This project has been undertaken to promote and respect Noongar culture and spirit and acknowledge the hard-ship and unresolved grief that our indigenous people have experienced as a result of colonisation, forced removal of children and assimilation policies. It is through knowledge that understanding can be gained.

 Image Gallery

Click on image to enlarge and view as gallery


Many thanks to the following Noongar Women who have shared their stories through this artwork;


Barbara PickettIris WoodsIsabel UgleIvy BennellGloria KearingJeanette IndichSandra Hill and Lorna Little.


These women are a testament to the strength and resilience of Noongar people and culture. Thanks also to the Koolbardies Talking Women’s Circle and the community artists that collaborated to develop and create this artwork.

You are invited to remove threads to slowly disintegrate the hessian layer of the artwork and reveal the stories beneath. Explore this thought provoking artwork and be part of revealing the heartfelt stories of local Noongar women’s personal experiences, histories and knowledge. The process of removing the hessian layer will be documented and edited into a short film by Richard Eames of Black Cyclone.

This project has been funded through the Catalyst Community Arts Fund. Community Arts Network WA manages The Catalyst Community Arts Fund on behalf of the State of Western Australia through the Department of Culture and the Arts and is supported by the Mental Health Commission of WA.

For more information about this project contact Renee Barton. Phone: 0407 193 201. Email: [email protected]