Kip&Co co-founder Alex McCabe says it’s never been more important to acknowledge the traditional owners of our country — and Kip&Co’s latest collection is all about bringing First Nations stories to a wider audience.
For the past two years, the team has been working with Indigenous art centre Ernabella Arts to create a beautiful new range.
The centre is a particularly significant one, having been established in 1948 as a space for Anangu women to loom floor rugs and wall weavings. Since its inception, the centre has now grown to include a mix of male and female artists, who practice painting, ceramics, jewellery, and everything in between.
Alex says this enduring creativity is what made Ernabella Arts a ‘dream’ to collaborate with.
‘In the middle of last year, we were lucky enough to spend time in the Pukatja community, the home of Ernabella Arts,’ she adds.
‘There we spent time with the artists, staying in the community while we learned about the stories behind their beautiful artworks and the history of the arts centre. Afterwards we shared an incredible celebratory meal of kangaroo tail on country while the kids roamed free, playing a spontaneous game of football.’
They worked closely with seven leading artists from the centre: Alison Lionel, Carlene Thompson, Lagaliki Lewis, Lynette Lewis, Malipiya Davey, Michelle Lewis and Rupert Jack. Each of them created a unique artwork that tells their ancestral stories, and these have been splashed across the Kip&Co x Ernabella Arts collection.
The final products include bold cushions with Malipiya’s depiction of her mother’s country, while silk clothing showcasing Alison’s paintings of wandering bark lines. In true Kip&Co fashion, it also features multi-coloured bedspreads, silk pillowcases, tablelinen, and ceramic dining plates filled with prints and patterns.
Ernabella Arts and Kip&Co will divide all profits from the collaboration equally, ensuring 50 per cent of profits will go back to the centre.
‘The artists and traditional owners generously allowed us to shoot on country, and it was so important to us to show the artworks amongst the surroundings that have inspired them,’ Alex explains. ‘Under the bright hot sun and clear blue skies, we created the campaign shoot with the help of the community who were both superstar models and guides for us!’
‘We’re incredible lucky and fortunate to have the opportunity to bring this art, and the stories of culture and country to a wider audience. And there’s no better sense of story and purpose than in the art created by the artists at Ernabella Arts.’