Aunty Lola Greeno, Red Ochre Award 2019
Aunty Lola Greeno is a Pakana shell artist, curator, educator and arts worker. Born in 1946 on Cape Barren Island Greeno now lives in Launceston, using her art to connect an ancient practice to contemporary communities.
Greeno is one of a handful of women shell-stringers responsible for ensuring the craft is passed down from the Elders. This skill was passed down to Lola from her mother and maternal grandmother and today she is continuing this tradition passing down the skills and respect for the environmentally responsible collection of shells to her daughter and granddaughters. This coupled with her ongoing contribution to arts practice, curation, writing, and story-telling through her craft, offers the stories of her ancestors to future generations.
Greeno’s 30-year career has seen her work exhibited and collected by the Museum of Arts and Sciences, the National Gallery of Australia, the National Gallery of Victoria, the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery and the Queensland Art Gallery. In 2014, Greeno was recognised with Australian Design Centre’s Living Treasure Master of Australian Craft Award.
Her best-known exhibition, Lola Greeno: Cultural Jewels features breath-taking works using unusual and beautiful natural materials such as Echidna quill, feather, rare Maireener shell and bone, set in a ground-breaking contemporary installation. The exhibition toured to 18 venues across Australia from 2014 to 2019 and has been acquired for the collection of the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery in Launceston.
Greeno trained as a curator of Aboriginal Art at the University of Tasmania and later as a Regional Indigenous Curator at National Gallery of Australia, she worked as a program officer for Arts Tasmania facilitating cross cultural exchanges between Tasmanian, Australian and international Indigenous people. In 2015 she was entered in the Tasmanian Honour Roll of Women for service to Aboriginal Affairs and the Arts.