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Koskela x Erub Erwer Meta Christmas Wreaths

Indigenous Art

It’s no secret that we are huge fans of Koskela. The Sydney-based label provides a brilliant platform for many Indigenous artists and their social enterprise initiatives truly make an impact… rather than just sounding/looking good (though they definitely do that too).

Just in time for the holiday season, they are releasing a series of vibrant wreaths made in collaboration with Torres Strait Islander artists, and inspired by The Great Barrier Reef.

24th November, 2017

Koskela has comissioned a series of vibrant wreaths by Torres Strait Islander artists, which are inspired by The Great Barrier Reef. Photo – courtesy of Koskela.

The artists definitely have total control over what they actually weave onto the wreaths, but they always feature stories about the reef and their marine environments,’ tells Koskela’s Director Sasha Titchkosky. Photo – courtesy of Koskela.

These fishing nets, damaged when discarded or lost at sea, drift along ocean currents strangling, slowly amputating, or poisoning wildlife as they make there way ashore. Photo – courtesy of Koskela.

The incredible artworks feature details like extravagantly woven ‘coral’ and glossy pieces of shell. Photo – courtesy of Koskela.

Artists from Erub Erwer Meta, a remote arts centre on Darnley Island in the Torres Strait handcrafted the series of wreaths. Photo – Lynnette Griffiths (who has been ‘instrumental to this initiative’, according to Sasha), courtesy of Koskela.

Elle Murrell
Friday 24th November 2017

Ghost netting is a deadly marine pollutant. These fishing nets, when discarded or lost at sea, drift along ocean currents drowning, slowly amputating, and poisoning wildlife as they make their way ashore. That’s no enviro-warrior exaggeration either – tens of thousands of marine animals suffer every year due to simple carelessness.

The silver-lining is that this tragedy has inspired Koskela’s latest social enterprise and activism initiative. The Sydney-based furniture and homewares brand has commissioned artists from Erub Erwer Meta, a remote arts centre on Darnley Island in the Torres Strait, to handcraft a series of Christmas wreaths with a powerful message.

‘We’ve been trying to come up with a way to work with Erub Arts and the ghost nets for a around seven years now, and we’re so excited about the Christmas wreaths. I know they will end up being a hugely memorable part of people’s Christmas celebrations for years to come,’ says Koskela’s Director Sasha Titchkosky. ‘This is such an important issue for our oceans and a great example of how art can be used to convey important messages and raise awareness.’

As our TDF Talks speakers Sam Davy and Tim Ross reiterated yesterday, an important message won’t garner attention without an appealing aesthetic. The Erub artists have deconstructed plastic ghost nets and woven the brightly coloured fibre into their own unique artworks, featuring coral-inspired forms as well as glossy shell embellishments.

‘Sometimes, I think we are flooded with negativity about what’s happening environmentally, and it’s almost overwhelming – we can almost become deadened by the negativity,’ adds Sasha. ‘Creative projects can be a great way to raise awareness as they create a positive emotive response, which makes people curious and eager to know more.’

Find out more and view the incredible Christmas wreaths at Koskela’s showroom in Sydney: 1/85 Dunning Ave, Rosebery.

As part of TDF Talks, another social enterprising stand-out: Loretta Bolotin of Free to Feed will be sharing valuable insights from launching her inspiring organisation, as well as tips on how to create long-term impact this Saturday, 25/11 at 3:00pm. A few tickets are still available, at $20, with 100% of proceeds going to ASRC.

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The Design Files acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files – we would love to hear from you.

Please email us here.