About the Artist
Takira Simon-Brown is a Palawa woman born in Nipaluna in 1983 and resides on the Trumanyapayna area of Paradareme country. The majority of Takira’s family reside at Truwuna (Cape Barren Island).
Takira is a descendant of chief Mannalargenna of the Plangermaireener nation, and her grandmother, Joan Brown, was a well known and highly respected shell stringer from Truwuna. Takira’s mother, June Brown, continues to practice the ancient and unique cultural practice of shell stringing.
Takira is an advocate for Aboriginal mental health and firmly believes that art, music, healthy food and supportive family and friends are essential for everyone.
Currently, Takira is studying a combined Bachelor of Arts at the University of Tasmania.
The Octopus Piece
This piece was given the name The Octopus Piece because of the seaweed baring likeness to Octopus tentacles.
The piece’s conception came from spending time with my daughter, being on country and sharing knowledge to the next generation of young women. We found some seaweed not commonly found on the particular beach we were on. It reminded me of being on the island (Cape Barren Island) and making seaweed crowns, and then when a little older being taught how to make water carriers out of seaweed by older women. We picked up the seaweed and took photos of it, from those photos I developed a set of six designs. The full set is titled Playing With Seaweed.
The Octopus Piece design is of seaweed floating in water over rocks with my interpretation of the Bruny Island petroglyphs engraved into them. It represents the enduring legacy of cultural knowledge passed down and the ancient intelligence of my ancestors. In its final conception the tentacles of an Octopus shows the complexity, intelligence and endurance of an Octopus such as the complexity, intelligence and endurance of my culture -- especially the knowledge and endurance of women’s business.
Young Aboriginal Girls and Women leaders are an important aspect of our enduring culture. It is because of this I have chosen this piece for the Young Aboriginal Women and Girls Leaders Scholarship.
- Takira Simon-Brown