Deadly Threads Where did you get that shirt?

This exhibition is in the past.
27 March - 10 October 2021
kuril dhagun

2 December 2021 - 23 January 2022
Cairns Art Gallery 
#slqDeadlyThreads

Deadly Threads is a showcase of singlets, shirts, polos and jerseys created by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples from across Queensland.

It explores the significance of these pieces as symbols of identity, celebration and unity. They have been developed to protest, commemorate special occasions and historical events and tell stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history and cultures.

Protest

What we wear is personal; it creates and reinforces our identity, our views and beliefs.

Shirts are created and worn during protests to convey support and opinions to a cause. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples often create items during times of protest as an act of defiance and solidarity.

Some of Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and activists have created items that are both text and picture based.

Culture

The creation of cultural shirts highlighting significant events including ceremonial tombstone unveilings, anniversaries, dance performances and family reunion shirts are prolific.

Sport

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have an exciting history of participating and succeeding on the sporting field. There are many First Nations Queenslanders who have had amazing careers and success in their respective sports. 

The success of First Nations sportspeople has enabled the rich history and culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to be highlighted and told and retold through shirts, jerseys, singlets and dresses. 

Stories

From the blog

Jersey Culture: wear your heart on your sleeve!

4 November 2021
For international #AskaCurator day, I interviewed my colleague Louise Hunter about her experience curating her first exhibition at State Library Deadly Threads. It is a vibrant showcase of shirts, polos and jerseys created by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples from across Queensland. Deadly Threads is an acknowledgement of the significance of these wearable objects as symbols of identity, celebration and unity. When you see the clothing displayed together, you get to understand the history and pride held within these everyday objects. They have been developed to protest, commemorate special occasions and historical events and tell stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history and cultures, and together they are a beautiful celebration of culture.

Elders and community gathering with opening of the Deadly Threads showcase

7 May 2021
Elders and Community Gathering with opening of the Deadly Threads showcase

Behind the Seams: installing Deadly Threads at the State Library of Queensland

1 July 2021
Deadly Threads is an exhibition that showcases Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander design expressed through sporting jerseys, memorial and protest t-shirts, and original art works. These collections have been generously loaned or donated to State Library by communities from all over Queensland and are showcased at kuril dhagun.  Over 170 sporting jerseys and t- shirts are on display: a selection of more than 250 items were added to the State Library collection as a result of the exhibition. Highlights include a pair of Jonathan Thurston’s football boots, a dance costume from the Urab dance group of Poruma Island (Coconut Island) in the Torres Strait, a selection of Eddie Mabo memorial t- shirts, and an original artwork for the design of the North Queensland Cowboys’ 2016 Indigenous Round jersey by Torres Strait Islander artist Sharon Phineasa.  Many staff were involved in making this exhibition a reality. This blog post looks behind the scenes at how the jerseys, t- shirts, and artworks were prepared for exhibition by State Library’s Preservation Services team. 

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