This page (and additional content in the tabs) details all of the experiences/artwork outcomes of our carers in Kabi Kabi Country (2022-3)

Artwork outcomes, resulting from Kilagi Nielsen, Liz Capelin, Melissa Stannard and Mia Hacker's roles as Carbon_Dating native grass carers, working with documentary artist Sasha Parlett of Red Handed Productions.

Carbon_Dating, Sunshine Coast, Kabi Kabi Country (Documentary, 7min40s), Sasha Parlett/Red Handed Productions, 2023
Sasha's video is an investigation of the rich spread of ideas, and the ethic of care, that foregrounded the Carbon_Dating Sunshine Coast teams' creative process over the summer of 2022/3. It was the thinking in this video that inspired the Sunshine Coast artists' works - see them detailed on this page after this video.
Still frame from video 'Carbon_Dating, Sunshine Coast, Kabi Kabi Country' (The Interweaver unplugged) Sasha Parlett, 2023 (Image Sasha Parlett)
Still frame from video 'Carbon_Dating, Sunshine Coast, Kabi Kabi Country' (Group Meeting Blanket) Sasha Parlett, 2023 (Image Sasha Parlett)
Still frame from Carbon_Dating, Sunshine Coast, Kabi Kabi Country, (Kabi Kabi elder Uncle Brian Warner and carbon dating carer Melissa Stannard) Sasha Parlett, 2023 (Image Sasha Parlett)
Baelele + Fascinator, Kilagi Nielsen, 2023
"In my exploration of weaving techniques, I have delved into the world of natural fibres, specifically focusing on the utilisation of kangaroo grass alongside the familiar Lomandra fibre. Through this experimentation, I have crafted a wearable art accessory in the form of a fascinator hairpiece. Working with the Kangaroo Grass fibre has provided me with a fresh and exciting material to weave with. By intertwining it with the Lomandra fibre, I have sought to create a harmonious fusion of textures and colours. The process of processing this new natural fibre has unveiled its inherent characteristics, revealing its strength, flexibility, and occasional brittleness. To achieve the desired outcome, I meticulously tested various samples of different growth stages and ultimately concluded that the younger and fresher growth possessed the ideal qualities for my weaving.In this particular creation, I made a deliberate choice to retain the seed heads of the Kangaroo grass. By doing so, I aim to showcase the complete growth process of this particular grass species, capturing its essence and imparting a sense of organic beauty to the final piece.

The presence of these seed heads serves as a design detail that sparks curiosity and invites the viewer to contemplate the life cycle and transformation of the grass.Through this wearable art accessory, I invite the audience to appreciate the intricate relationship between nature, craftsmanship, and design. It is my hope that this piece not only celebrates the natural materials sourced from Kabi Kabi Country but also serves as a reminder of our connection to the environment and the importance of preserving and honouring the resources it provides". [Kilagi Nielsen, 2023]


- A circle series of 15 x A5 eco-dyed paper works, harvested and boiled
900mm x 900mm 

Baele, Kilagi Nielsen, (Collaged multiple prints and process shots), 2023 (Images Mia Hacker)

Sculptural Object

- Natural grown and harvested Kangaroo Grass and Lomandra from Kabi Kabi Country
300mm x 300mm approx.

Fascinator, (multiple views), Kilagi Nielsen, 2023 (Image Mia Hacker)
Held, Liz Capelin, 2023
"Throughout the Carbon Dating project I’ve been captivated by grass seeds: their shape and movement, sometimes graceful and flowing, at other times jutting and severe architectural form, their delicate tenacity in the landscape. Seed was also the key botanical feature through which I could identify and differentiate our chosen species and confront my grass-blindness.  Experimenting with clay impressions was initially a means to observe the seed more closely and compare them - to see their structure and clustered detail in relief.  Pushing the specimens into the damp medium of earth naturally evolved into a simple yet meaningful concept for Held: the seed impressions are upon the three vases, which are vessels waiting to hold, their emptiness not an absence but patient willingness and future intent. I thought about seeds as physical and metaphorical vessels of continuance and survival, of evolutionary genetic information being passed through time and carried forward.  I reflected on the social ecology of seeds as knowledge holders and sharers, of waiting patiently for the right conditions or relationships via which knowledge is passed and held, of the dormancy and protection of knowledge when conditions are safe or the timing not ready.

As a plant throws seed, or a person offers ideas or practices, is this not an action of trust, hope and generosity to the future? I reflected on what it is to be held, of holding space for my co-collaborators, of being held by the land and sky at Tuan Environmental Reserve on the Sunshine Coast on Kabi Kabi Country, of holding my own attentive curiosity in order to be a vessel for new learnings, and the importance of holding onto knowledge and hope for future generations. The black internal glaze on the vases was added before the second and final firing to symbolize the scorched country after a cultural burn, priming the was for regeneration and continuance". [Liz Capelin, 2023]

Ceramic Objects

- Ceramic, imprinted with seed heads from Themeda triandra, Cymbogogan refractus and Capillipedium spicigerum
1. 210mm x 80mm, 2. 150mm x 75mm, 3. 125mm x 50mm

Held, (multiple views), Liz capelin, 2023 (Image Liz Capelin)
dhunbarr warranggal garrar, Melissa Stannard, 2023
"Conversations with native grasses in liminal spaces
Roadside verges resilient and overlooked they grow .. almost overtaken by introduced pests and other species, not of here but now deeply rooted and often smothering that which was before. But still they grow and flourish if your eyes are attuned you'll notice.

Utilising a collaboration with nature ...
the sun, space and time..collecting the traces and stories of plants and places important to me for #winangali time
Of deep listening
Of walking and noticing
Of pauses in a hurried world.
These prints onto fabric in tones of blue trace shadows of objects, soft layers of stories and belonging.
Blueprints originally used for architecture and marking out foundations of colonial buildings
Now used to tell the stories embedded within the land, across our non linear space and time
Echoes of grindstones moving amongst happy voices, of laughter and sharing of stories
Women gathering grasses with potent strengths inside .. nourishment and nurture.
Winnowing ..
Letting that which no longer belongs or is of use just float away on the breeze to feed back into the soil nearby.. heavy seeds drop to be collected..some fly off on gentle breezes to propagate further afield.
Nothing wasted
Deft hands
Watchful eyes
A knowing rhythm
A dance of cultivation and culture
Skills handed down like poetry
Interwoven through the everyday moments
My hands gather the grasses..collecting noticing the fine details and sculptural beauty that points to the seeds ..tiny delicate and robust.
A deep respect for the work undertaken to gather these seeds in enough volume to bake into bread dense in nutrients shared amongst family.. and not #family as we see it today but ties that bind us together leaving no one lost or disconnected
Gathered family not just blood ties but deeper cultural familial connections
Gathered together just like the grasses and seeds
Sharing work, wisdom and love.
The interconnectedness of people and place
We were scattered like seeds and ripped from places of long belonging
But we are resilient and still grow even if its on the verges and liminal spaces
Pushed out or disconnected from homelands
We can and do still flourish and nurture through every season in space and time.

Warranggal (strong powerful) garaarr (grass) dhunbarr garrar (grass seed)". [Melissa Stannard, 2023]

Ceramic Objects

- Cyanotypes, soda ash, plant dyes, cloth, patch/stitch work, jewellery, poetry

dhunbarr warranggal garrar, (multiple details), Melissa Stannard, 2023 (Image Melissa Stannard)

Whispers on the Wind, Mia Hacker, 2023
"In my artistic practice, I am deeply drawn to connecting with the natural elements that influence the growth and vitality of kangaroo grass. This particular project allowed me to delve into the essence of this plant, its surroundings, and the intricate relationships it shares with the environment. Through an immersive creative process, I sought to capture the profound connection between the grass, the soil it thrives in, and the elements that shape its existence.

To embark on this artistic journey, I dedicated time to engage with the place and the tangible aspects that resonate with my senses. I embraced the opportunity to feel, smell, and touch the elements surrounding the kangaroo grass, allowing them to guide my artistic expression. Utilising the soil in which the grass flourishes, I let the gentle breeze delicately transport it onto paper. The strokes and marks left behind were then meticulously recorded using a water pen. As the warm afternoon sunshine bathed the paper, the simultaneous drying and transformational process began, facilitated by the evaporation and absorption of the water. By immersing myself in close proximity to the soil, I endeavoured to tap into the energy and goodness that enfold the grass plants. Through this intimate connection, I sought to understand and visually convey the profound harmony and balance that exists within the natural world".

In essence, my artwork encapsulates a celebration of the intertwined energies that shape the growth and vitality of Kangaroo grass. Through a sensory exploration and a deep-rooted connection to place, I strive to evoke a profound appreciation for the harmonious relationship between nature and art. [Mia Hacker, 2023]

- Paper, watercolour, soil, organic materials
440mm x 350mm

Whispers on the Wind (detail), Mia Hacker, 2023 (Image Mia Hacker)

Introduction to our Kabi Kabi site and Carbon Dating carer team

A deeply collaborative team shared the Sunshine Coast (Kabi Kabi Country) Carbon Dating experience.  Liz Capelin was joined by multi-disciplinary co-carers Bianca Bond, Melissa Stannard, Kilagi Nielsen and Mia Hacker, in consultation with traditional owner Uncle Brian Warner with documentation captured by Sasha Parlett of Red Handed Media. (See Bios in tab above). The chosen research planting site was a stunning location adjacent to the Mary River (Numabulla) at Tuan Environmental Reserve near Kenilworth.

Melissa Stannard, Liz Capelin, Kilagi Nielsen, Bianca Bond and Mia Hacker at initial planting, Oct 2022 (image: Keith Armstrong)

This team of highly engaged and experienced creatives came together over 6 months between 2022-3 to build a relationship with the grasses they planted, creatively and relationally responding to their shared learnings. Strong cultural protocols were embedded in their practice, and the site was therefore selected after talking with traditional owners. The two species they planted - Kangaroo Grass and Scented-Top Grass were planted on a carbon_dating mound, situated on a small rise, within view of the river. Other parts of this site had been previously burnt using traditional protocols of cultural cool season burning - allowing for future comparison and observation.

Prodigious growth - of Scented Top grasses, after a wet summer, Liz Capelin at the mound at Tuan Reserve, Sunshine Coast, Feb 2023 (Image Melissa Stannard)
Liz, Bianca, Kilagi, Melissa and Mia planted Kangaroo grass and Scented Top grass - all endemic grasses and suited to that local Country/bioregion.
Melissa Stannard, with the tufted mound behind her, safely protected by a council fence, 6 Feb 2023 (Image Liz Capelin)

On entering the site on the first day, set back against the forested hillside, the team came across a profusion of new Kangaroo Grasses, much of which had grown seed heads in recent weeks after several past years of Kabi Kabi led cultural burning protocols. It was a perfect introduction to one of the species being planted and cared for at this site and exemplified the power and dynamism of native grasses - especially when in seasonal abundance.

Liz Capelin, Bianca Bond, Melissa Stannard, Kilagi Nielsen and Mia Hacker (image: Keith Armstrong)
Scented Top grass spikelets, Feb 2023 (Image Liz Capelin)
Kilagi Nilesen holding a partially assembled 'Interweaver' (image: Melissa Stannard)

Bianca Bond planting grasses on her (Kabi Kabi) Country, connecting with place and ancestors (image: Mia Hacker)

This site of the project has also been further supported by gallery partner Caloundra Regional Gallery (with special thanks to director Jo Duke) and a Sunshine Coast RADF grant.

Liz Capelin, Bianca Bond, Melissa Stannard, Kilagi Nielsen, Mia Hacker

Liz Capelin is founder of Third Nature Projects: through which she designs and delivers interdisciplinary environmental projects.  She employs creative practices/inquiry and collaborative partnerships to give voice to environmental themes, forming experiences between people and place, igniting ecological curiosity and inspiring stewardship.  Her approach is Banksia Foundation Award winning.

Bianca Bond is a Kabi Kabi woman, in particular a descendant of the Da'la people, a Traditional Custodian of the Sunshine Coast (QLD, Australia and its outer regions. She comes from a long line of strong and proud Aboriginal people. She does consultancy work with all different types of service providers covering all levels such as community, education, government, employment, youth work, language, business etc.

Melissa Stannard is a Yuwaalaraay, Gamilaraay and Koama woman and an artist, poet, jeweller, researcher and curator. A narrative, multi disciplinary artist, constant gatherer, collector of the lost and found, storytelling is an important part of Melissa’s cultural heritage and a way to express, share, and bring awareness to issues that confront difficult subject matter. Melissa’s aim is to find poetic healing for herself and the community’s lived experience, through engagement with themes of identity, belonging, memory, collective trauma, abuse, and ultimately, survival. Melissa often immerses in nature to explores the cultural practise of Winangali, deep listening.

Sasha Parlett, (Courtesy of Red Handed Productions

Mia Hacker is an artist, change maker and social disruptor with an inquisitive nature and a great passion for photography and creative expression with works on paper with various mediums. Her grassroots practice is fundamentally about connecting with place and people. Through her artwork creations she aims to give people a chance to contemplate, relax and appreciate the wonderful environment around us. A key part of her practice is providing avenues for artists to emerge and thrive through scaffolding platforms of support and mentoring - which she enables through her experience in animating spaces and curating artworks for both solo and group collaborations and exhibitions.

Kilagi Nielsen is a PNG master weaver who enjoys sharing her cultural and weaving techniques. She runs regular weaving gatherings where she shares her deep knowledge and skills of both traditional and contemporary culture.

Sasha Parlett is a proud Maylangapa/Barkindji multidisciplinary artist that was raised in culture on Kabi Kabi country. She has a Bachelor of Creative Industries from USC and has dedicated her career to representing the underrepresented in a mission to help combat imposter syndrome. Sasha's work extends from directing, producing and writing an award winning music video, exhibiting her documentary format video installation piece across the east coast of Australia and being the visual designer on a First Nations theatre production. Her work ranges from corporate documentary, scripted format, art installation videos and visual design. Sasha  does  a lot of solo work under her business Red Handed Productions and also loves jumping in and being part of a bigger team to see a vision realised.