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Harriet Goodall

Australian textile artist Harriet Goodall shares insights on her work with Indigenous communities and what she hopes to achieve through her creations.

Harriet’s Friday Feature Artist Interview can be found at the bottom of this page.

From contemporary woven fibre sculptures, bespoke lighting, and beautifully crafted baskets, Harriet Goodall has woven her love of nature, found objects, design, travel and community into her professional art practice spanning over 14 years. With humble beginnings in an old milking shed, the dedication, commitment and passion for her craft have taken Harriet far and wide, collaborating and working with weaving communities around the world. 

Harriet was kind enough to talk to Fibre Arts Take Two about her life and art in 2021.

In the family

Harriet takes a holistic view of her artistic growth “I think with a creative life, your influences can come from everywhere. And so I think one thing I’ve realised as I’ve gotten older is that everything points you to where you are now.”

As true as this is, Harriet certainly had art in her blood. “I grew up in a family where art was the equivalent of sport. We had an artist in our family, and we grew up going to art exhibitions. My aunt is a full-time painter and supported her family through painting, and my father made sculptures.”

With this immersion in art,  it was only a matter of time before Harriet discovered her true passion. “I really fell in love with weaving and textiles and dyeing. When I began travelling and studied at university, the travel really solidified my love of making and meeting communities and cultures worldwide.”

Eventually, Harriet married, resettled in NSW and set down roots in the Australian art world. “We started a small business with a very small amount of money, my husband and I when we returned from South America. We found a group, a community that we’ve been working with, who made beautiful, organically dyed textiles. That relationship is ongoing.”


The Grasslands Project

Since 2017, Harriet has been working on the Grasslands Project, a long-term project involving Indigenous communities in NSW. “I have been very passionate about advocacy for Indigenous culture and weaving in communities around the world. So wherever possible, I have tried to take up opportunities to foster Indigenous culture and learn from it, you know, to be a student of it, because I think it has so much wisdom to offer us. I’ve been to many different places, but obviously, being an Australian woman, the most exciting opportunity is for me to learn from Australian Aboriginal culture. I grew up on a farm in the southwest slopes of New South Wales, which borders Wiradjuri country. And I was asked by an arts organisation called the Word Lab to be involved in a project.”

It was a task that Harriet was only too keen to embrace. “I was asked to go down and contribute a weaving element into a project that encompasses tanning, weaving, planting native grasses, and plant identification. And it has since been a success, which is fantastic. It’s a very nice full circle for me to go back down to the bush to that country and to do something good.”

And it has proven to do a lot of good for the community and those involved. “Many of these women have opened up and shared stories about the mothers and grandmothers taken away from their families and about being ashamed to speak their language and embrace their culture. So this is the opposite of that.”

Working with Indigenous Australians has significantly impacted how Harriet sees the world. “I think that has given me an avenue to explore my identity as an Australian woman who grew up in the country and to figure out who I am now. What am I leaving behind? What are the marks that we leave? And what are the lines that we leave behind us when we go? I really, ideally, don’t want to leave much behind.”



Harriet brings this philosophy to her work and her life. “I think creating versus consuming is the thing that I’d like to try to do. Not to make more stuff but just to help. If someone has a moment of introspection when they look at your work and see something in it, that helps them think a little about themselves. And then you inspire them to travel a little more lightly. I think that’s amazing that you can do that.”


About the artist

Harriet Goodall has run an independent art studio making sculpture, lighting and woven installations for private and commercial clients since 2007. She exhibits regularly and has passed on her passion for contemporary basket-making techniques in workshops across Australia and worldwide.

Harriet lives with her farmer husband and two children on an old dairy farm near the beautiful village of Robertson on the coastal escarpment south of Sydney. She works out of a private workshop studio but is available for onsite meetings and consultations.


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