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Indigenous Australian Artists and Makers to Support and Shop

rachael-sarra-art

For 60,000 years, Australia’s Indigenous Aboriginal people have been telling stories; whether through some 250 languages, traditional dance and music, or through the medium of art.

First displayed as rock art, modern Indigenous artists have brought their unique techniques to canvas over time, while others have continued to pass skills through generations via traditional weaving and sculpture. Some of which we’re showcasing below.

This is an ever-evolving list we will continue to update as we discover artists and makers, so if we’ve missed someone you think we need to know about, then please kindly let us know by sliding into our DMs on Instagram or emailing us at [email protected].

Rachael Sarra

Rachael Sarra is a contemporary Aboriginal artist and designer from Goreng Goreng Country who “uses art as a powerful tool in storytelling to educate and share Aboriginal culture and it’s evolution”.

“Her style is feminine, fun and engaging but is strongly drawn from her heritage and her role as an Aboriginal woman in a modern world. Rachael is fuelled by passion to continue exploring her Aboriginality through art and design, with each piece strengthening her identity,” her site reads.

From keyrings and notebooks to prints and large-scale paintings, ranging from $20 to $550, Sarra’s online store is a direct channel to supporting her unique craft. She’s also a beautiful writer and the author of this profound must-read journal entry entitled “I’m Tired“.

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“What can I do as a white Australian to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people?” The truth is, we can help ourselves. Australia has been conditioned to think First Nations people need help. This misconception has gained strength amongst the broader community because First Nations people are resisting to conform to the structures that oppress us. So how can you be an ally? Stand with us yes, but do so with an open mind that perhaps the knowledge we hold as the longest continuing culture in the world can not only help ourselves but help all of Australia. Allow First Nations people to occupy a seat at the table without the chains still subtly around our feet. Use your voice and your own experiences to break down the systems that oppress us all. Stand with us during the good times and the bad but understand that you may not have the all the answers. The answers come when we all start to question the flawed system that controls our people, our environment, and our future. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . #art #artist #indigenous #aboriginal #indigenousartist #aboriginalartist #woman #female #contemporary #typography #digitalart #acrylic #fashion #digitalillustration #follow #contemporaryartist #colour #contemporaryart #design #designer #illustration #graphicdesigner #rachaelsarra #artwork #changethedate #thenwewillcelebrate #australiaday #invasionday #survivalday #australiaisburning

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Tjanpi Desert Weavers

As described on the collective’s website, “Tjanpi Desert Weavers is a social enterprise of the Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yakunytjatjara Women’s Council, working with women in the remote Central and Western desert regions who earn an income from contemporary fibre art.”

The group represents over 400 Anangu/Yarnangu women artists from 26 remote communities on the Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yakunytjatjara lands. The skilled artists, some of which have been weaving since 1995 and some who are just now learning, use native harvested grasses to create beautiful baskets and one-of-a-kind sculptures.

Shop the collection now, or consider donating directly.

Charlotte Allingham

Charlotte Allingham is a Wiradjuri, Ngiyampaa woman from NSW, with family ties to Condobolin and Ivanhoe, her site explains. Allingham’s profound illustrations are centred around her culture, identity and the impacts of colonisation to the Indigenous communities.

“She focuses on community love and body positivity as well as Blak strength and power. Challenging the perception of her people through her own creative expression in a range of themes of modern subcultures, occultism and the First Nation’s futurism.”

Allingham’s online store stocks her prolific work in all forms from printable holiday gift tags to stickers and A4 prints.

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Be better.

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Sandon Gibbs-O’Neill

Gibbs-O’Niell described himself as a “proud Nhunngabarra man” whose work is inspired by the legacy of his Grandfather Tex Skuthorpe, “who was a highly respected Nhunggal man, artist, teacher and author”.

In his mesmerising worlds, he employs a combination of contemporary Aboriginal styles and traditional Nhunggal stories that both share his family’s rich history and reflects the land. “Through an exploration of my Ancestors culture, nature and today’s environment, I strive to inspire all through art and sharing knowledge,” Gibbs-O’Niell shares on his website Burruguu Art, which he says means “time of creation”.

The Burruguu Art online store stocks the artists original paintings, plus limited-edition prints.

Michelle Kerrin

Michelle Kerrin is a descendant of the Arrernte and Luritja clan groups from the Northern Territory, though born and raised on the lands of the Larrakia people in Darwin. Now based in Naarm, Melbourne, Kerrin creates truly breathtaking pieces.

She began painting through what she calls a hard time in her life. “I painted the symbols from our communities, the lines of my Country, and the colours of these lands. I started to regain the feeling of belonging. I found a greater a sense of purpose in my community and life for my people,” she poetically explains on the Akweke Stories site.

Her website’s online store is updated frequently with new thought-provoking works simply calling to be displayed in your home. Shop the collection now.

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Because I did the colours and style differently on this one I thought I would for the title and story too. My little 3 year old niece came up with the name and meaning, my baby might be on to something good. • This one is called, Paarder After big rain, the snakes come out lookin for some tucker. Big mob puddles all round, snake gotta look out for em aye. But he hungry, gotta help family find tucker before sun go down. Country filled with big mob trees and bushes for snake to find feed, must go gathering all together. Dad teaches young one how to hunt and mum ready to make the meanest feed. Young ones always learning, land sacred and full of yummy food and medicine to keep us going. Gotta learn the ways, important you know. Snakes go sleep soon after big day. Nanight snakes, see you tomorrow. • • Piece will be up in the website soon ready to order! • • • #akwekestories #indigenousart #firstnations #aboriginal

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Educate yourself on issues of race by doing the work. Here are a list of resources to read, watch, listen to.