Euraba Papermakers — November 8, 2014

Euraba is for everyone, we don’t specifically see ourselves as feminist but we are a group of strong women, carving out a path for ourselves with the support of many others. The installation at SCA Gallery is based on the medicinal Eura leaf.

The Story of Euraba is distinctive not the least because it was founded by nine senior Goomeroi women from the communities of Toomelah and Boggabilla in northwestern NSW. In 1999 the Euraba Paper Company was started in a shed at Toomelah. Papermaking has connections to traditional culture in the process of collecting and being together to make useful things. The Euraba leaf for example, is medicinal. We are reviving language, relearning what has been partly lost through the mission years.

Side-by-side teaching ensures everyone feels equal. It reflects the philosophy of Euraba showing the way, leading by example and walking alongside to help people find themselves. We select collaborating artists for projects that can help lessen the gap between us elders and the younger generation. The young people see us working with fresh ideas in a new way. We are able to teach them the stories better this way. They become a part of the making process.

Euraba Papermakers with Debra Dawes, “Eurah Leaves” Installation View as part of Curating Feminism, Sydney College of the Arts Gallery

Our women have a strong history of fighting for equality. There are issues of women’s inequality that we see everyday: domestic violence, violence against women, lack of childcare, lack of opportunity. Some of our young girls see themselves as less because they are girls. Even with strong female role models. We need more women representing us in positions of power.

Forthcoming Euraba Papermakers projects with Judy Watson (February 2015) and Debra Dawes are proposed for Contemporary Art and Feminism.

See Curating Feminism. A Contemporary Art and Feminism Event, 2014. for more information.

From an interview with Aunty May Hinch, Gloria Woodbridge, Aunty Joy Duncan, Marlene Hinch and Adrienne (Adi) Duncan at Boggabilla by Kate Ford (3 October 2014). Questions from CAF.