Jeanette James is a Palawa Tasmanian artist, and a senior custodian of the Palawa cultural tradition of shell stringing. This ritualistic practice follows traditional methodologies which have continued without deviation since before colonisation and are many thousands of years old.
Jeanette enjoys the entire process of jewellery making, but is particularly fond of collecting the shells. Going to the beach and finding a searching spot is the absolute start of the entire process. Jeanette has favourite spots peppered along the Tasmanian coast, but is always on the look out for new locations. Because the shell collection areas are in general quite small, sometimes the shells are only plentiful every two or three years. Creating the one-off pieces can take years.
Jeanette's exquisite work has been featured in exhibitions across Australia, the USA and Singapore. Jeanette won the Wanjunk Marika award at the 2000 Telstra Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards, and the Premier Award for Artistic Excellence a the 2014 Tasmanian Arts and Craft Fair.
To browse current offerings of Jeanette's work available at the Australian Museum Shop, click here.