Lola Greeno / Palawa people / Australia b.1946 / Teunne (king maireener shell crown) 2013 / King maireener shells on wire / 25cm (diam.) / Collection: Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Launceston / © The artist

Lola Greeno
Teunne (king maireener shell crown) 2013

Not Currently on Display

Lola Greeno’s works draw attention to the environmental change threatening the fragile natural ecosystems where she collects her shells. Changing weather patterns and climatic disturbances are causing damage to the shell beds on the ocean floor. The magnificent king maireener shells (rainbow kelp shell) that were once plentiful are now rarely found. Their rarity and preciousness is acknowledged by the artist in Teunne (king maireener shell crown) 2013, a ‘crown’ of shells threaded on stainless-steel wire.

Lola Greeno creates shell necklaces using techniques passed down from her Palawa Elders in Tasmania. Greeno’s traditional and experimental neckpieces are celebrated for their unique patterns
and exquisite composition of beautiful shells. Painstakingly collected from the beaches of Tasmania, the shells are treated using centuries-old cleaning and polishing processes so they retain their lustre before they are threaded. In ancient Palawa tradition, shell necklaces are often presented as gifts to important visitors as a mark of esteem.

As a Palawa Elder, Greeno engages the support of her family to continue ancient traditions, ensuring that younger generations learn and experience the meditative processes of collecting and threading shells, and maintain a connectedness with their island home.

Contemporary context

How does Lola Greeno:

  • provoke discussion about twenty-first-century issues and concerns?

Personal context

How does Lola Greeno:

  • communicate influences on her life and experiences?

Cultural context

How does Lola Greeno:

  • explore cultural traditions?
  • respond to cultural influences?

Formal context

How does Lola Greeno:

  • employ specific art elements and principles to communicate meaning?
  • share characteristics with art movements, times, places or events?