Bobbie Ruben

    Bobbie Ruben

    PhD student

    Cairns

    Biographical note

    For the past 15 years Bobbie has shared her passion for textiles with artists in remote indigenous communities in northern Australia and assisted translating their traditional artwork into designs on textiles and paper. Many of these designs have gone on to achieve national and international recognition.

    Research topic

    Indigenous textile design and production in remote communities

    Research outline

    Printed textiles from remote community art centres have recently been winning awards in national art and fashion events around Australia. These unique pieces are exhibited in art galleries, collected by national institutions, and commissioned by large corporations and high-end design and fashion businesses.

    My research will document these achievements and the role that intercultural collaborations have played in the process, which it is hoped, in turn will assist in the continued growth of this industry.

    Research questions

    • How do intercultural collaborative processes and working relations’ impact on the viability of textile design, production and usage in remote Indigenous communities across northern Australia?
    • What are the benefits and risks of these relations to the Indigenous artists and non-Indigenous participants working in textiles?

    Supervisory team

    Dr Jennifer Deger

    Dr Robyn Glade-Wright

    Research outputs

    The research will investigate the role and significance that intercultural collaborations have played in this movement from data generated via surveys, participant observation, interviews and case studies.

    Conference papers

    Ruben, B. (2006). Hugging the cloth. Paper presented at the Selling Yarns: Australian Indigenous textiles and good business in the 21st century, Museum and Art Galleries of the NT, Darwin.

    Ruben, B. (2009). Indigenous textile art project: corporate collaborations with Babbarra Designs. Paper presented at the Selling Yarns 2: Innovation for Sustainability, Australian National University, Canberra.

    Ruben, B. (2011, October - November). Paper presented at the Tropics of the Imagination, Cairns.

    Ruben, B. (2012). Particiapnt in the Travelling Yarns Textile Forum, Oenpelli, NT.

    Ruben, B. (2013, August). UflaUpla: National Indigenous textiles forum. Paper presented at the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair, Cairns.

    Ruben, B. (2014, July-August). Symposium. Paper presented at the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair, Cairns.

    Ruben, B. (2015, September). Reconfigured connections: Indigenous textiles from remote communities across northern Australia. Paper presented at the Tropics of the Imagination, Cairns.

    Ruben, B. (2013, February - March). New textile works from Merrepen Arts and Babbarra Designs. Paper presented at the Selling Yarns 3; Weaving the Nations Story, Australian National University, Canberra.

    Teaching experience

    Visual art, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, NT


    Extended Profile

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