Riverbed Sky Songs by Tais Rose Wae.

Tais Rose Wae in her studio.

She spends hours working at the loom crafting her weavings.

One of her delicate weavings.

‘Weaving almost feels like a visual expression of what I explore through my poetry,’ she says.

How Artist Tais Rose Wae Explores Nature Through Her Weavings + Poetry

Artist Tais Rose Wae has just released her first book of poetry, which is an extension of her sentimental weaving practice!

Christina Karras
Lisa Sorgini
19th of September 2023

Artist Tais Rose Wae creates incredible weavings often inspired by nature, so it’s no surprise her poetry is just as beautiful.

She’s just released her first book, ‘Riverbed Sky Songs’, a collection of writing that she’s been working on for the past five years in addition to her weaving practice.

‘I spent a long stretch of my childhood growing up in the bush and have vivid memories of lines of poetry that I wrote to the vines that grew up the rainforest trees by the creek and to the birds in the canopy,’ Tais says.

The idea behind the book began when her poem was named as the runner-up for the Nakata Brophy Prize for Young Indigenous Writers, something that ‘really helped’ her find her way with poetry. The remaining poems were written during her pregnancy and in the first year of her son’s life — sometimes in the middle of the night.

Tais says the poems are deeply personal, with many influenced by her experiences of becoming a mother and her family’s own ‘complex history of my Aboriginal ancestry’.

‘It is, in as many ways as I know how, a love letter to Country and to the people I come from,’ she says.

This connection to the natural world is also the core focus of her weavings, which Tais describes as a ‘visual expression’ of what she explores through her poetry. Soft earthy colours and natural materials give the pieces a dream-like quality, allowing light to shine through the delicate patterns of fabric, sometimes adorned with pearls or painted flowers.

‘The same strips of bark or river pearls or sea urchin spikes or silk or snake bones that appear in my weavings are often the backbone of my poetry,’ she says.

‘The act of weaving, with its repetitive knots and countless hours at the loom, provides fertile ground for reflection and contemplation, allowing me to bring forth stories and memories into the narrative of each weaving.’

Tais also spends time working off loom, following her son around the house and weaving beside him in the garden. But it’s often when she returns to the rock pools or the river, distancing herself from her work, that she finds the best inspiration.

For the cover of her poetry book, she created an especially sentimental round weaving made using green raffia and river pearls that were a gift from artist and Elder Julie-Anne Smith. ‘She was the first artist I can remember ever meeting and has been so influential in my life,’ Tais adds.

These are just some of the emotive details embedded in both her art and writing, as she explores the literal — and metaphorical threads — in the world around her.

‘Riverbed Sky Songs’ is available online now here, and you can contact Tais to purchase her weavings via Instagram or email. 

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