Florence Kamel & the Goroka weavers
Florence Kamel is an internationally respected Bilum artist based in Goroka, Papua New Guinea, and the Principal Designer of Jaukae Bilum Products. The Happy Talk team first met Florence in February 2011 when she was in Sydney showing work at the Maketi Ples exhibition at Global Gallery that was organised by Ruth Choulai of Pacific Islands Trade & Invest. Inspired by the strong, contemporary designs and traditional weaving techniques of Florence’s work, Happy Talk commissioned Florence and ten weavers from Goroka – Alice Lucas, Freda Buko, Julie Danny, Jollan Kelaimo, Rolan Dick, Daisy Raymond, Julie Pilo, Jenny Tiku, Nancy Apae and Hella Bikukure – to make the largest Bilum they had ever woven. In just under eight weeks, Florence and the Goroka weavers created a bold and very contemporary artwork that explores a fresh new direction for this Pacific weaving tradition.