Artist In Profile - Judy O'Neill18.01.2013
Judy O’Neill is a Gamilaroi woman from Goodooga and has lived in Orange since 1999. She is a talented artist whose goal was to form a local group of indigenous and non-indigenous women who practice traditional and contemporary raffia weaving styles weekly and exhibit their creations. The realisation of that dream is Wahi-Win Migay (Healthy-Well Women) Orange Weaving Group attempts to assist the reconciliation process while promoting and preserving culture.
Aunty Judy is passionate about Aboriginal culture and expresses this through her love of indigenous art forms. She has participated and facilitated weaving workshops throughout Wiradjuri Nation. She has contributed large scale sculpture to the new Orange Hospital’s O’Brien Centre and sold smaller baskets and other weavings to collectors.
Apart from the Weaving Group, her current projects include fibre plan revegetation work with Central West Catchment Management Authority and baby baskets for Murundhu Dharaa Birthing Centre in Orange. Judy will be travelling with her weaving group to demonstrate skills and knowledge to various communities and schools in 2013 in a quest to keep culture alive and strong.
Image by Arts OutWest – Aunty Judy running a weaving workshop for Marramarra Bulla, Parkes (2012) [foreground on right]
Interview by Natalie Lord for Arts OutWest