Tell us a little bit about yourself and your art: 

As a multi-disciplinary Artist I find joy in exploring any medium I can get my hands on, Being an early Childhood Educator has also enabled me to not get too caught up in the final results, rather being more focused on the process - which is best seen through the eyes of a child, the excitement at exploration. so, I guess I am inspired by nature and definitely have fun from just being creative.

Can you talk us through your art practice?

My Arts practice is always evolving and one practice tends to inform the other, when I learn a new skill I like to explore it in various ways. For example - in creating my own ochre paint I have used it as a watercolour, an earth pigment and in dyeing. I am very much focused on using acrylic and ochre at the moment and exploring texture. It's all about bringing stories to life and allowing them to be not only visual, but tactile too.

You talk about taking ‘the first steps’ on your journey in belonging and becoming connected with your Ngarrindjeri heritage, can you tell us a little bit about that beautiful process?

In connecting with family and elders I have been privileged to learn some very important ways of being as a Ngarrindjeri woman. Learning storylines and just spending time yarning is definitely the biggest and most precious influence on me in my culture, hearing about creative process and what those connections mean has been profound, it's a continuous process, which only deepens the more time I get to spend with mob.

Talk as through how you impart your knowledge of Country onto the children you work with?

Children are lucky to have a sense of wonder that as adults we slowly but surely forget generally. Working with children I'm  constantly reminded of the beauty of nature, the detail, pattern and simplicity. By sharing my connection and allowing exploration and discovery together, connection is formed, not only to Country but to a way of being with our land, waterways, and animals. Having time is also very important. Being present in a moment and not rushing on to the next thing is very important, I learn so much from the children I work with. 

Do you have a favourite art practice?

My favourite art practice at the moment is weaving, mostly because it allows me to sit still and just be, but on a deeper level its about feeling that connection to the women in my life who continually share, support and nurture with their time and knowledge.

What do you do for self-care and down time so you can have the energy for all your projects?

Great question!! I don't do enough self care!!! Sadly, I allow myself to get too busy being busy if that makes sense. Because I'm passionate about sharing, I often forget to save some time for myself. I know I'm burning out less the more time goes by as I make it a priority to go and spend time on Country, reconnecting with the ocean, the bush and my special people.

Interview by Freya Bennett

Learn more about Emma Stenhouse and shop a collection of here works here:

Emma is presenting an exhibition of her work titled Kurtun Collecting Together, at the Queen Victoria Women's Centre from 23 May to 14 June 2024. Find out more at


May 22, 2024 — Marianne Duval