Lola Greeno is a Tasmanian Aboriginal woman, born in 1946 on Cape Barren Island. Lola worked with Bangarra Dance Theatre in 2008 when she worked as Cultural Consultant on the production Mathinna.
Lola Greeno’s practice includes installation, natural fibre basketry and sculptural pieces using black Tasmanian sea kelp. However, she is best known for her shell necklaces, an art form she learnt from her palawa Elders in Tasmania. Greeno creates traditional and experimental neck pieces that are celebrated for their unique patterns, sequences and exquisite composition. The shells are painstakingly collected and treated in an intricate process in order to retain their lustre before threading. This knowledge was passed to Greeno from her Elders, who have traditionally collected more than 30 shell varieties to make the necklaces. Greeno’s works represent her unbroken commitment to the art form, also drawing attention to environmental change that threatens the fragile natural ecosystem.
In addition to her artistic practice, Greeno works with school groups promoting cultural knowledge, showing images of a number of major exhibitions and research projects.
Lola is the first Indigenous visual artist to receive the award of National Living Treasure: Master of Australian Craft, with a solo exhibition, ‘Cultural Jewels’ which included over 50 pieces of work, a short video and a published catalogue. Cultural Jewels was on a national tour until early 2019. Lola is also the recipient of a Red Ochre Award for lifetime achievement within the arts.
Lola completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of Tasmania in Launceston in 1997 and since graduating has completed traineeships with the University Tasmania Newnham Gallery (1996) and an internship at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra (2000). She is represented in numerous public collections, including National Gallery of Australia, National Museum of Australia Canberra; Powerhouse Museum, Sydney; Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Launceston; Queensland Art Gallery; Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane and Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart.