Weaving journey to Arnhem Land:
The Arnhem Land weaving trip was something I had wanted to do for so long. It was
so much more than I had imagined that it would be! It had adventure (crossing Alligator River daily,
but always with great care) to get to the Injalak arts centre! It had friendship and fun, learning about new cultures, meeting new people, mountain climbing, camp fires, going bush to collect natural materials and weaving !! I have found a new connection to my home country Australia that I have been wanting to feel for a long time !! Finally, Rene is such a lovely interesting and fun host! I genuinely felt taken care of and excited for what each day would hold for us ! It was such a delight ! And I think of the Injalak arts centre often and will go there again for sure 🙂
Cate, Sunshine Coast
It’s very difficult to put this journey into words. I encourage you to look at Rene’s photos as they beautifully capture the landscape, people and experiences. This is not an experience you will find on Flight Centre or Red Balloon, it is personal and intimate. Rene invites you into a sacred space of connection with the Injalak women who generously welcome you into their lives, land, practices and community for a precious time. Rene skilfully weaves individual desires into a collective experience that becomes a shared memory for life and after you wonder if it was a dream? If you are drawn to this journey I encourage you to do it! Tips include: enter with humour, flexibility, a desire to learn, respect for the process and this will result in thankfulness that an opportunity like this has crossed your path. Enjoy and safe travels.
In early June, I joined an amazing group of women with our fearless leader Rene
Bahloo on an adventure to West Arnhem Land. Words do not adequately capture
the life changing experience. Suffice to say, for me, it was a defining moment in my
life’s journey. The deep sense of connection to country and to the incredible
Kunwinjku fibre artists that we had the honour and privilege of working and playing
beside will sustain me for a very long time.
We shared knowledge, stories, laughter and adventure. Together we harvested fibre
from the Pandanus tree and stripped the plant in preparation for dyeing and weaving.
We collected natural dyes from the local environment and ground them up to create
a variety of colours. The Pandanus fibre was boiled in the dyes and then hung out to
dry. We worked seated together learning how to weave coil baskets and wall mats.
The women were so generous in sharing their weaving knowledge and patient with
our many questions.
My heartfelt gratitude extends to Rene for connecting me to this most awesome of
adventures and to the women in our group who threw themselves into the
experience with open minds, curiosity, wisdom and good humour.
It was an unforgettable experience and profound personal and spiritual insights were
gained through the peace and connection with our weaving sisters, their families and
This journey is about so much more than just weaving. I felt a very real connection to country, a newfound love and admiration for the generous women we spent time with, and a deeper understanding and respect for culture and life in Arnhem Land. I came away with great learning, many laughs, and a full heart. This was a once in a lifetime experience at a grass roots level and I adored each unique experience.
Lisa, Brisbane, Qld.
Weaving Retreat Bribie island:
“I found the weavery retreat hugely enriching on many levels. It was a wonderful experience into which I felt so warmly welcomed and supported. The strength and healing power of the circle was felt throughout the 3 days. I was greatly inspired by Rene’s vast knowledge and intricate skills. I was particularly grateful for her ability to support everyone and explain techniques from different perspectives, giving time to repeat and break down working methods. The chance to share in the other ancient creative art-forms of Yoga and Ayuvedic cooking literally weaved us together as a group and added texture and vibrancy to the fabric of an amazing weekend.”
– Leonie Rhodes (Brisbane)
“Rene’s weavery retreat was a sublime feast for the senses. The weekend was spent deep in storytelling, connection and sharing of journey. Steeped in the oceanic magic of Bribie Island and immersed in the nurturance of Ayruvedic food, my spirit, mind and body combined to find a deep sense of peace… that now, a week later, has only just begun to dissipate. Much of our time on the retreat was spent in nature…creating a precious sense of reconnection to the elements. The new found skills garnered (Ayruvedic cooking, weavery in various forms and sharing from the heart) have enriched my life. I view Rene’s weavery retreat as a gift from spirit, a sense of the sacred channelled and guided through Rene, shared out among us. By the end of the weekend I felt that sense of the sacred cultivated from deep within myself…ready to be shared out in the world.”
– Alana Mason (Coolum)
“The Weavery Retreat 2011 hosted by Rene Bahloo was an absolutely fantastic fun, time.
Not only did we as a group learn to weave baskets from natural fibres, we formed a heart connection with each other as we shared our stories and weaved new ones.
Rene is a very talented an inspiring woman and it was wonderful to hear her amazing stories and learn the art of weaving. We even got to see some dolphins frolicking in the ocean whilst we were weaving away on the beach. It was a special moment for all of us as a group. As we continued to weave our special baskets we each chose someone to give it to as a gift which was beautiful. Morning yoga by Kathleen was rejuvenating and relaxing and thoroughly enjoyed by all. Also I must not forget to mention that we ate some delicious nutritious food, cooked and prepared by Kathleen, and had a lesson on Aryuvedic cooking from the talented Falu and Michael. Falu gave us an overview on the history and principles which was very interesting. Then we headed off to the kitchen and had a go at cooking. I have never ever seen so many spices in my life and the aromas were lovely. We all sat together and enjoyed the food. To sum up the weekend, it was a beautiful connection of love, support, friendship, great food and of course creativity using natural resources by the beach.”
– Kimberley Bradley (Gympie)
Deb Porter, Brisbane, Coorparoo Scouts
Hi Rene, I wanted to send you a huge thank you for the basket weaving that you did with our scouts. They all had an absolute wonderful time. The feedback from them and their parents has been amazing – they all clearly had a brilliant time and many of the parents of boys were pleasantly surprised by how much they enjoyed it too! Thanks again for all of your help. We’ll all be talking about it for a while to come.
Kathy Popplewell, Gold Coast
Hey beautiful woman! It was such a pleasure to have your goddess presence at our Vibrance Women’s Celebrating Womanhood 2011 ‘Deeper’ event this weekend just past. Love the earthy, cheeky and fun way you weave and share your work, your message and help people unravel and weave into their own inner knowings and revelations. Thanks so much for sharing your mermaid goddess beauty with us all xoxox
Anita Bailey, Narangba
A circle of women weaving their thoughts, sharing their stories and spinning like spiders their own masterpiece under the nurturing guidance of Rene who is Weavery…….a wrens nest now sits on my altar…the ‘Druids House’ ……..
Linda Frylink Anderson, Mooloolaba
What a beautiful morning of weaving and sharing stories with a gathering of wonderful women. It was so good to make something with my hands. The weaving was so special – just loved it! I’m going to take it to uni 🙂 Unfortunately my basket isn’t wide enough to hold a champagne bottle!! Thank you Rene for your energy and friendship!
Hey Rene. I love your work! Thank you for being a part of our birthday/wedding day and bringing inspiration in weaving with you. I love our woven gift!
Hi Rene… thanks for including me in your group.. just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your workshop at Being Woman…. Thank you… I feel inspired 🙂 xx
Hey Rene, lovely to meet you at the spirited women’s lunch Friday. Isn’t it wonderful how our lives weave together separate and then meet again. Loved you Inspired work. Best of luck getting your wonderful family to SA.
Thank you Rene, sharing your knowledge and creativity, hooked to weaving now!!!
Hi Rene, I’m also having a recovery day today after working all weekend at the MBS festival. I was so blessed to be to part of one of your weavery classes at the show, your gift of compassion is so special, you truly are a beautiful soul.
sucha beautiful day ur amazing rene ive passed on ur card too xxoo infinite love and gratitude ♥
Hi Rene, Thank you so much for sharing your weavery at Brisbane’s Mind, Body, Spirit Festival. I am so proud of my little bird nest basket and look forward to making more! With love, Gay