“I wanted to share this beautiful art while bringing community together”.
Tegan Murdock, born on the 11th of October 1987 and raised in the small country town of Coomealla (25kms north west of Mildura on the NSW and Victorian border of Australia) on the Namatjira Mission.
“My Dad and Pop built our home out of old tin and wood they collected from the local tip. We didn’t have running water, or flushing toilets and we used an open fire place for a kitchen. We didn’t have much and life was simple. I often think back to those days with a sense of pride and happiness”.
My family moved around “a lot”, my father Phillip would go where the work was. Usually picking grapes or working manual labour jobs. “Dad did whatever he had to do to ensure we had food on the table”. Eventually settling in Albury on the NSW and Victorian border in 2003 where they have built their lives and raised our family. ‘I live in Sydney but home for me is where Mum and Dad are - I get home as often as I can”
I am a proud member of the Barkindtji tribe originating from Coomealla, Lake Victoria and the Mungo regions from my mothers ancestors. While also belonging to the Yorta Yorta and Dhudaroah tribes originating from the Shepparton area from my father’s ancestors.
“Ngumpie in Barkindtji means ‘Beautiful’ – this is what my Nanna Shirl used to call me when I was younger”.
Nan is no longer with us so I knew my business name had to be this. Ngumpie (Pronounced Numbpie).
My beautiful Mum Margaret taught me to weave several years ago. I started weaving earrings and then kept creating new pieces as the inspiration came to me. I now create jewellery and wall pieces as well as teach others to weave in face to face and online workshops, school visits and corporate staff development days.
After my youngest daughter started Kindy I began to feel lost as a mum. I had been a stay at home mum for 7 years and a lot had changed in that time. I felt a calling to immerse myself in and share culture, I just wasn’t sure how.
What I did know was that my dream was to be able to weave everyday, earn a living and have the flexibility to be with my children as much as possible while sharing this wonderful culture. Fast forward 3 years, a lot of hard work, a few tears and lots of fun - here I am, literally weaving my life away. It’s a beautiful feeling seeing my own little business grow. I am proud of myself for what I have created for my family and community.
I feel a deep sense of gratitude every time I weave. Weaving wasn’t something that was around when I was younger, my elders faced a lot of trauma from colonisation, they feared sharing culture so a lot of knowledge has been lost. I just assumed that no one in my family weaved because it wasn’t spoken about. I’ve since found out that my great grandmother was a very good weaver and I’m sure there were plenty of other amazing weavers too.
“I want to use my weaving to break down barriers – so we can sit, connect and learn about each others journey while learning about my beautiful culture at the same time”.
Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns has seen people and communities become disconnected from each other, my weaving has been able to keep community and businesses connected during this hard time. Many of the people who have attended my workshops have expressed that weaving is like a form of meditation - great for the mind and soul.
Weaving has become a part of me.