The guest on The FPhiline Line on Tuesday 10 June was Philomena Hali, a long time resident in Alice Springs whose energy and passion for textile and fibre arts has been an inspiration for budding and experienced artists and craftspeople not only in the Northern Territory but across remote, regional and metro Australia.

Philomena first came to Alice Springs in the early 1980’s from tropical Queensland where she had found joy in making baskets from the abundance of raw materials in the rain forests. Her interest in basketry led her to join what was then the Crafts Council (now Central Craft) where before she knew it, she was tutoring in basket making and after attending a workshop in natural dyeing, found herself tutoring in that too.

Over the years Philomena’s interest in natural fibres and textiles has evolved along with her involvement with Central Craft and her generous ongoing commitment to sharing her knowledge and skills in her many creative disciplines.

Philomena talked of the inspiration behind the emergence of the Sustainable Couture Group in Alice Springs after her friend Franca Frederiksen came up with the idea to recycle old blankets into ‘wearable’ garments. This led to the creation of the Sustainable Couture Group, fashion event where artists, designers and skilled garment makers like Philomena and Franca, fuse their skills with a unique approach to recycling, creating unique garments which make a vibrant fashion and eco-friendly statement.

Philomena spoke of this year’s Sustainable Couture Fashion Parade ‘Outback Finery’ which will be launched at the Aviation Museum in the Araluen Cultural Precinct on the 19 June at 6.30pm. This year some new designers from interstate are joining the line-up of local creators and the evening promises to be a spectacular event for lovers of recycled or up-cycled fashions; followed by their annual selling exhibition of their exclusive garments at the June Marriott Gallery at Central Craft.

In between all this creativity, Philomena finds time to tutor at Central Craft, nationally and internationally in varied disciplines including nuno felting, natural dyeing, shibori, bojagi and her beloved basketry.

Philomena has some exciting projects in store for her in the coming months, including exhibiting her intricate bojagi and shibori creations interstate and overseas.

Jen Standish-White talks with Philomena Hali, textile and fibre artist and sustainable couture creator.

Broadcast: Tuesday 10 June 2014 at 12 noon on 8CCC Community Radio 102.1FM

Producer: Jen Standish-White