Sisters Glenda McCulloch, Jaunita Doyle, Cheryl Perez, and Dale Bruce have been working together as Cungelella Art for the past four years. The proud Kalkadoon women create art inspired by their traditional homelands – where they grew up, and where they are now collectively raising their 14 children. Their business has evolved organically over the past few years, but it started as a way for the sisters to continue the traditional artworks their ‘families have been doing forever’, in new and contemporary ways.
With the sisters located in Mt Isa, and the Adairs team based in Melbourne, they worked together over Zoom to select some of their favourite artworks, in addition to creating some new paintings especially for the range.
‘When we painted this collection, we wanted to evoke a feeling of homeland, calm, grounding and most importantly, family,’ Glenda says. ‘Our featured prints in the collection are inspired by the colours of Kalkatungu Country, the native plants, and the beautiful grass known as spinifex that covers the outback landscape.’
Behind each product is also a time-intensive process of translating the artworks onto textiles and 3D objects. Adairs design manager Bec Jones explains the team spent many hours just to turn each painting into digital patterns, cutting each dot and line from the background to authentically reflect the sister’s handiwork, across everything from mugs, to textiles, and even timber-framed prints.
‘The Wadjin Bedlinen is an Adairs team favourite,’ Bec says of the final pieces. ‘We love how the colours pop on the dark background, and it styles back easily with other pieces in the Adairs range for a cohesive look.’
Everything has been designed to mix and match, so you can bring a piece of Mt Isa’s dreamy sunsets and desert landscape into your home.
The Myrrdah Doll in the Adairs Kids range was another idea that originated from the sisters (it’s named after their grandmother!) while they say they can’t wait to take the new patterned quilted coverlets the next time they go camping out bush!
Shop the new Cungelella Art x Adairs and Adairs Kids collection exclusively at Adairs stores and online here.