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Program event

Janet Fieldhouse

Janet Fieldhouse

Venue: ANU, School of Art Ceramic Workshop, 2 Childers St, Acton ACT 2601


Saturday, 11 July 2015 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm

Hand-building and Carving Demonstration

Janet Fieldhouse’s work is an expression of her Torres Strait Islander heritage: the material culture, rituals of social and religious life, and artefacts which are created to fulfill the functional and spiritual needs of the people of the Torres Strait.


The practices of Torres Strait Islander women have always been of interest to Janet, with scarification a main focus. The scarification forms she found are taken from two-dimensional drawings and built into three-dimensional forms using hand-building and carving techniques. Each scarification design has a different meaning, for example mourning, marriage, a symbol of a young girl reaching maturity, and a symbol of magical power. The ritual of scarification (tattooing) is no longer practiced today and the history of marking skin was unseen and not heard of in her generation. Instead, current generations use ink tattooing as a means of expressing ones heritage.


Janet’s idea was to research and produce a body of work to bring back what was unseen marking, so that the next generation will know that scarification was once a strong part of our heritage.


Image: courtesy of artist. Credit: Fany Saumure



Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre Australian National University Canberra Potters' Society Strathnairn Arts Association The Australian Ceramics Association