BILAS – To adorn the body

31st July 2014

Life is full and abundant! Most recently I’ve been reflecting upon the amazing opportunities, insights and new experiences that I’ve had in the last six months as a hard working artist.  It’s always an honor to be invited to participate in exhibitions, artistic events and festivals.  Not long ago I heard on RRR (Melbourne independent radio) someone refer to artists as being fully functioning ‘work-a-holics’.  I breathed a sigh of recognition.  Admitting your an artist in formal and informal settings Australia is sometimes followed by “so your on the dole?”  I could very easily rant on about how under valued artists are in Australian society and how much they contribute and reflect upon the social fabric of our culture.

Coming up in October is my contribution of sharing my skill of weaving in Melbourne at Signal, a creative arts studio for young people aged 13 – 25.  I’ll be teaching participants how to utilise Pacific weaving techniques that I’ve honed over the last few years to create your own Bilas or body adornment.  Bilas a Pidgin English word used widely in Papua New Guinea, that generally refers to the decoration or adornment of your body, but it can also refer to the way you decorate your house, or the trinkets you put in your car (dice hanging from the rear view mirror) or your sense of style.  I love this word as it is such a broad term.

The highlands people of Papua New Guinea take the definition of Bilas to the ultimate.  Check out Old Plantation photography of the 5th Melanesian Arts and Cultural Festival held most recently in Papua New Guinea and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

BILAS – Body Adornment Workshops

When:  Saturday 11th, 18th & 25th October.  11am – 4pm each day

Where:  Flinders Walk, Northbank, Melbourne VIC 3001
Behind Flinders St Station towards Sandridge Bridge

Cost:  Free, bookings are essential as there are limited places available

Book here:  Signal What’s On