Clair Bates, Tina Doolin, Ellen Trevorrow, Samantha Doolin, Charlie Davis, Jennifer Bates, Glenda Nicholls, Bronwyn Razem, Debra Rankine, Jelina Haines, Alice Abdulla, Anne McMahon, Weaving Stories (Murray River), Collaborative mixed media installation. Photo: Fleur Ruddick

Alice Abdulla is a Ngarrindjeri Elder and was born in Raukkan, South Australia. She lived in Meningie for many years and eventually work took her to other areas of South Australia. In the 1970’s Alice joined the Education Department as an Aboriginal Education Worker and spent her time at Winkie Primary School in Berri in the Riverland before moving back to Meningie. Alice has been involved in arts and crafts for many years; she has been doing the feather flowers for 16 years and has taken part in many activities and workshops teaching people about her Ngarrindjeri culture through art and craft activities. Alice remembers seeing the old Aunties at Raukkan and my Nannas doing the feather flowers when she was younger. Alice says that she loves the colours and the feathers, they come from her Ngartji (totem), the pelican. There is a great respect for where the feathers come from, the Ngori (Pelican) leaves its beauty behind for us in his/her feathers – when Alice works with the feathers she described it as a spiritual healing.

Recently, Alice has learned to use silk and velvet fabric for rust dying, devore, shibori and Up Cycling men’s neckties to design fashionable garments and recycling old fabrics for stenciling technique. Though, Alice says that the feather flowers arrangement will always be her main craft.

Alice Abdulla, Ngarrindjeri Feather Flowers in combination with Ngarrindjeri Weaving. Photograph: Jelina Haines