EVERYWHERE LIFE TAKES ME – Meet Tegan Murdock: Weaver, Artist, Mother
In this collaboration with Blundstone Australia, we interview three creative mums on their craft, family and advice they would give their 21-year-old-selves. Meet Tegan Murdock: weaver, artist, mother.
Tell us a little bit about who you are?
I am an Aboriginal business owner with a deep connection to my culture and a passion for weaving. My business focuses on preserving and promoting the art of Aboriginal weaving through workshops and the sale of handwoven products, including earrings and wall pieces. I'm proud to share the rich tradition of weaving with others and contribute to the preservation of our heritage.
How would you describe your creative self?
I would describe my creative self as deeply connected to my Aboriginal heritage. My creativity is rooted in the traditions and stories passed down through generations, and I find inspiration in the natural world and the patterns and colours that surround me. Weaving allows me to express my creativity while honouring the cultural significance of this art form.
How would you describe yourself as a creative Mum?
Nurturing, patient, and deeply committed to passing on our cultural heritage to my children. I strive to instil in them a sense of pride in their Aboriginal identity and a strong connection to our traditions and values.
Were you creative as a kid?
Yes, I grew up in a family where artistic expression was encouraged, and I was always exposed to Aboriginal crafts from a young age. My whole family are artistic so it runs in our blood. I loved experimenting with different materials and creating my own unique pieces even as a child.
Does having children influence you creatively?
Absolutely, having children has a profound influence on my creativity. It deepens my commitment to preserving our culture and passing it on to the next generation. I often involve my children in my weaving workshops, allowing them to learn and appreciate our traditions firsthand.
How important do you find it is as a creative mum to have alone time to fuel your creativity?
Alone time is essential for me to fuel my creativity. It provides a quiet space for reflection, inspiration, and weaving without distractions. These moments of solitude allow me to connect with my artistic self and channel the stories and traditions that are integral to my work.
When did you first realise you were creative?
I first realised I was creative when I was a little while watching my parents create beautiful pieces of art. As kids we were always out creating and building something in a creative way. It wasn’t until later that I picked up weaving and was able to express my creativity through this art form.
Who in your family has influenced you creatively?
My whole family has been a significant influence on my creative journey. From Dad making his artefacts, to Mum weaving, my sister painting, my other sister carving Emu eggs, my younger brother making coolamons everyone in my family has made an impact on my creativity. Their wisdom and guidance continue to inspire my work and keep our traditions alive.
Can you describe the challenges in your creative journey to get to where you are today?
The journey to get to where I am today has had its share of challenges. Preserving traditional weaving techniques in a modern world, finding a market for our products, and balancing the demands of motherhood and business ownership have all presented unique challenges. However, the passion for our culture and art has driven me to overcome these obstacles.
What’s something that’s happened in your life that has surprised you?
One surprising aspect of my journey has been the overwhelming support and interest from people of all backgrounds in learning about Aboriginal weaving. It's been heart-warming to see the genuine curiosity and respect for our culture, and it has encouraged me to expand my workshops and reach a broader audience. It also led me to opening my shop in Narrabeen.
What have been the biggest things you have learned about yourself on this creative journey so far?
I've learned the power of resilience and the importance of cultural preservation. I've discovered my ability to adapt and innovate while staying true to our traditions. Most importantly, I've learned that my role as a mother and a weaver is intertwined and reinforces my commitment to our heritage.
What has the process been to opening your aboriginal weaving shop?
Opening the shop involved a lot of hard work and dedication. It required finding the right location, finding time to sit and create products to sell in the shop, and building relationships with customers and the community. I also had to navigate the business side of things, such as marketing and managing finances. It was a labour of love that allowed me to share our culture with a wider audience.
What’s one thing you would tell your 21-year-old self?
I would tell my 21-year-old self to have confidence in the value of our culture and traditions. Embrace your creativity and share it with the world, for it is through art and storytelling that we can bridge gaps and foster understanding among people from all walks of life.
And lastly, where will your Blundstones take you today?
My Blunnies, worn with pride, will take me on a journey to connect with the land, gather natural materials for weaving, and pass on the knowledge of our ancestors to the next generation during today's weaving workshop. They are the sturdy foundation on which I stand as I continue to weave our cultural heritage into the tapestry of our modern world.
Tegan is wearing Blundstone Originals #500 Chelsea Boots in stout brown.
Read more of our Blundstone interviews with creative mums and meet Jordana Henry.