Artwork created by Riki Salam in collaboration with the Yarns Heal Community Working Group
Stars shine bright in the vast expanse, in this quiet place we remember those who have come before us, and those who have gone too soon.
We gather together like woven threads under shaded trees, Wisdom and knowledge of old flow through us.
Community supports, giving strength in understanding who we are.
We belong to this place, we belong to this land. This land replenishes us, renews and nurtures us.
Our Spirits are strong, we connect as one as we are woven together.
This artwork "Woven Together" was developed for the Yarns Heal - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, LGBTIQ+, BrotherBoy and Sistergirl Suicide Prevention Campaign in collaboration with Indigilez, Gar'band'jee'lum and the Community working group.
The Yarning circle at the centre of the artwork represents the beginning of an individuals journey as they are guided and supported by Family, Friends and Community through difficult times. Each thread acts as a lifeline of support both personally and professionally for the individual - the woven spiral shape depicts the beginning of a traditional woven basket or dilly bag where each thread is important and necessary for the basket to be complete. When yarns become loose is when things can go wrong.
The individual is depicted under the tree surrounded by the Ancestors who ground and connect us back to Country and Culture. The water represents the Brisbane River and the passing on of knowledge, the Lilly-Pilly and the Yam vine represent the traditional healing methods and practices (healing from within).
The Rainbow represents hope and the promise of a new day. It also depicts the Gay and Lesbian Communities, culturally it also represents the traditional story of the Rainbow Serpent.
The stars in the sky represent our loved ones who we have lost, those who have passed on who are ever present and will always be with us.
The lines at the bottom of the artwork represents the different country both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultures and people who come from different places across Australia who call Brisbane home, they bring with them their Cultures, knowledge, wisdom and connections.
The footprints represent all of us walking together to create awareness whilst supporting each other, we are woven together.
The Artwork Elements Explained
Woven Pathway & Yarning Circle
Torres Strait Islander Community
Gay and Lesbian Community
The Meeting Tree
Country and Knowledge
The Brisbane River
Yarns Heal Title
The Co-design Community Engagement Process
The Yarns Heal Campaign was created using a co-design community engagement process. Over a 12-month period we delivered community consultations, yarning circles and established a working group that provided cultural governance and oversight to the development of all campaign materials.
Yarns Heal began with yarning circles. We gathered many times with local Brisbane mob to share our stories and talk about what our local needs are. These yarning circles determined what the Yarns Heal campaign would look like and what our key messages would be.
Caring for our Mob:
From our yarning circles, key community stakeholders were invited to participate in our Yarns Heal Working Group. This group provided intensive cultural oversight of our work to ensure cultural safety and cultural knowledges were protected. This included representation from local Elders, emerging community leaders and professionals from our partner organisations.
Once we were ready to develop our campaign materials we sought expressions of interest from local artists and creative agencies. This led us to Riki and Diana at We Are 27 Creative. Together Riki and Diana led creative brainstorming sessions with our working group to develop what would become our Yarns Heal Artwork titled Woven Together. This artwork was the starting point and the foundation of all our Yarns Heal campaign resources.
Yarning My Story
Sharing our stories is an important part of our campaign. Our working group identified powerful local voices to represent our Yarns Heal message. Our ambassadors represent some of the many voices that make up our mob and we hope their stories inspire you and encourage you to yarn and get help in the tough times.