Since 2018

In 2018, Kelsey and Tarryn Love began Koorroyarr, a creative platform that honours their positionality as Gunditjmara women, sisters and granddaughters continually learning and seeking knowledge of their culture. Kelsey and Tarryn are Gunditjmara Keerray Woorroong sisters from south-west Victoria, born and raised on Wadawurrung country in Geelong.

‘Koorroyarr’ means ‘granddaughter’
in their mother tongue Keerray
Woorroong, which captures the
significant presence, impact
and vital role that family
and kinship plays in their
arts practice.

By centring Keerray Woorroong language and ways of being, the sisters aim to carry on the work of those before them in reclaiming, reviving and reinvigorating culture while exploring their identity in the here and now.

Their work reflects the transference of knowledge and pays respect to those that have passed it down. Celebrating the distinctiveness of Gunditjmara culture, they work with a variety of mediums including weaving, drawing, painting, wood burning, possum skins and sculpture.

Informed by their own individual experiences and journeys, their collaboration is most evident in the processes of how their work is made, rather than just the outcomes. For Kelsey and Tarryn, ‘it is in the cuppas, yarns, phone calls, texts etc. It is the times where we sit, talk and create in spaces and places together, not always necessarily on the same work, but together processing our thoughts and ideas. This style of collaboration is the ways we saw our Blak matriarchs growing up and now.’

Exhibited in Collective Movements:

yoonggama—to give and receive 2022

possum skin, steel, wax thread and New Zealand flax 190x121cm

Courtesy of Koorroyarr

kalatyarr ngart

teenyeen ngapang
tyeentyeeyt ngapangyarr
wanoong ngeerrang

We are here in this place.

This is just the beginning of who Kelsey and I are when we stand in our power as Gunditjmara women. It is our Country, our kinship, our roles, and responsibilities. It is both our journey before and our guidance for what is to come. It is our layers of learning, our knowledge, known and unknown. Most importantly it is us here now, our yoonggama.

yoonggama can be translated as ‘give and receive’. But how can you translate and write down a knowledge never meant to be written? Looking beyond the letters that begin and end yoonggama, it feels like a direct bloodline to Country. It sounds like something that does not have a destination but a direction, it is a continuum. And it sits in our chests deeply, rolling off our tongues proudly.

The steel foundation or bones of our work is a direct link to the cloak our Aunties and cousins made for our Grandfather to wear as part of the 2006 Commonwealth Games. The spiral of flax and possum skin is a representation of the continuum we are a part of. It is interwoven and connected by both tangible and intangible elements of Kelsey’s and my experiences, perspectives, and truths.

We understand yoonggama as a method of practice and purpose that is embedded in Kelsey’s and my ways of knowing, being and doing. In creating this work, we acknowledge and pay respect to our Ancestors, to the work of our Grandfather, Aunty and Mum who have been pivotal in sharing the cultural knowledge of kooramookyan, possum skin cloaks. We understand that the sustainability of cultural practice is in the sharing of knowledge, and we are greatly honoured to be part of and carry on this remembering, reclamation, regeneration, and revitalisation.

—Tarryn Love