Ngethn o’ Festival / Thawvl Wedlvn 2019

Working as part of the Kowanyama Project team (since 2014) under the direction of Traditional Owners and Viv Sinnamon (Collection Curator, Kowanyama Culture & Research Centre), Bernadette assisted in the development of the Ngethn o’ Festival 2019, part of a longer term program. The festival project was designed to showcase, celebrate and highlight the work being done in Kowanyama towards their community cultural development and a campaign to build a worthy facility for the Kowanyama collection.

Working in an Arts Coordination role in the development and planning stages of the festival (2017 – 2019), Bernadette was one of the Artists in Residence during the festival in July 2019. Fellow collaborators / visiting artists – Nina Blackcockatoo and Janelle Evans and her son Jeremy, Viv Sinnamon and Mark Weaver, with support from Kowanyama Aboriginal Shire Council, teamed up to convert the old Guest House Cafe into a gallery and install a curated exhibition there. They worked together with Kowanyama artists and youth to also run screen printing workshops and create Thawvl (the big basket) a large-scale, woven public art work during the week long festival to present at Townsville Strand Ephemera (26 July – 4 August 2019).

Thawvl was successfully completed and installed at Strand Ephemera on 24 July 2019 and awarded a Highly Commended Award by the judges.

This basket was made and documented by the Thawvl Wedlvn Collective:
Bernadette Boscacci, Lillian Josiah, Chrissie Aidan, Jacob Boyd Aidan, Shenane Jago, Priscilla Major, Priscilla Josiah, Francine Gilbert, Vivian Sinnamon, Janelle Evans, Kerrianne Barney, Judy Joe, Keisha Yam, Nina Blackcockatoo, Rowena Aidan, Megan Inkerman, Jamie Kepper, Shenette Gilbert, Ron Gillespie, Andrew Boscacci, Mary Boscacci, Peter Buosi, Des & Donna Gribben, Tony Squires, Mary Gilliver. Documentation: Mark Vincent Weaver, Matt Whitton, Fairlie Sandilands, Lara Weiland.

In September, Thawvl featured in Boscacci’s exhibition Travelling by String at Umbrella Studio Contemporary Arts (temporary) gallery, Flinders Street, Townsville. The video (above) created by Mark Weaver (Woven Tracks Media) accompanied the work.

Thawvl and video on display at Umbrella Studios Temporary Gallery, Flinders Street, Townsville 2019

Thawvl will be featured in CIAF (Cairns Indigenous Art Fair) 2021 before it is  returned home to Kowanyama to go on permanent display in their new airport.

  • Made from repurposed plastics and wire, with accompanying video (displayed on a 32″ digital TV monitor).
  • Dimensions: Body of the bag: 140 cm wide, 170cm long;  Handle length: 180cm; Total length (when hanging / handle extended): 350cm; Max Weight: approx 100 kg.





See the Kowanyama Newsletter on ISSUU (Issue 3, October 2019) that features articles on the development and presentation of the basket and the its journey to date.

Go to:  for more information about the Kowanyama project.






This project was made possible by the Australian Government’s Regional Arts Fund, provided through Regional Arts Australia, administered in Queensland by Flying Arts Alliance.


We acknowledge the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Peoples of the nation and the traditional custodians of the lands where we live, learn and work.