The recipients of Australia Council’s first Flourish fund for First Nations fashion and textile design have been announced.
More than US$500,000 (US$506,110 to be precise) was awarded to 21 recipients including First Nations designers and First Nations-owned and operated companies and community arts organizations from across Australia.
This is Australia Council’s first funding initiative dedicated to First Nations fashion, supporting production and design, professional development and increased digital visibility for the First Nations textile design and fashion sectors.
Flourish was founded to award between $5,000 and $25,000 to each recipient. For this round, all of the grants are at the higher end of that spectrum, with more than half of the recipients receiving the maximum grant amount of $25,000.
Liandra Gayamangu, Designer and Founder of First Nations swimwear brand Liandra Swim said: “The Flourish Fund will support growth opportunities within the international landscape [and] the growth of Liandra Swim’s influence.
“The fund will also support my professional development as I forge new relationships and expand my networks, both within domestic and global markets,” added Gayamangu.
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Gammin Threads founder Tahnee Edwards added that the fund will have a direct impact on her business.
“This grant will allow me to develop an accessory line to strengthen and diversify the Gamman yarns product offering,” said Edwards.
She added, “It will help me expand my product design and development skills and processes and support Gamman Threads sales growth by offering additional parts and price points, appealing to a more diverse audience and ensuring everyone has access to First Nations has draft.’
Franchesca Cubillo, Australia Council Executive Director First Nations Arts and Culture, continued: “This investment supports the continued strength, thriving and visibility of First Nations textile design and fashion – and their important contribution to cultural expression.”
The founding of Flourish coincides with Purrumpa – the largest national gathering and celebration of indigenous arts and culture in 50 years, taking place this October.
List of Flourish 2022 recipients
Tiwi Designs Aboriginal Corporation (NT) $23,938 – For training initiatives in the translation of screen-printed graphics, screen-making and textile production.
Kinaway Chamber of Commerce (VIC) $25,000 – For his KIN Textile Library – artistic resource for creatives expanding their practice into textiles.
Darwin House (NT) $25,000 – To scale their retail presence and activations nationally and internationally.
The Flourish grant allows us to reach for the stars and try to rival the big brands in Australia and around the world as this investment gives us the opportunity to bring in a world class mind to push beyond the confines of the Northern Territory to grow and expand.
Shauny Edwards, founder of the House of Darwin
Lyllardya Houston (NSW) $25,000 – For the Walumarra collection 2022.
Gambin Threads (VIC) $24,500 – Yarn Yarn Accessories Assortment.
Liandra Gaykamang (NT) $24,500 – For the Deep Sea Collection: Together, Apart Lets Interact.
Nathan McGuire (NSW) $24,132 – Solid Ocher – debut collection at Australian Fashion Week May 2023.
Ikuntji Artists Aboriginal Corporation (NT) $25,000 – Ikuntji artist at London Pacific Fashion Week 2022 + Pacific Arts.
Ananguku Arts & Cultural Aboriginal Corporation (SA) $25,000 – Textile project by Iwiri and Ku Arts.
Injalak Arts & Crafts Aboriginal Corporation (NT) $25,000 – Arnhem Land Textile Design Workshop hosted and conducted on land by Injalak Arts.
Maria Caldwell (NSW) $24,500 – Bundjalung Textile & Design Industry Development for emerging/mid career creatives.
Jarin Baigent (NSW) $25,000 – for Jarin Street – manufacturing/delivery support and digital marketing/presence support.
Paul McCann (VIC) $25,000 – Paul McCann: Evolution of Indigenous artistic practice in fashion design, jewelry and painting.
Each Hudson (QLD) $18,665 – Pixelated Dreaming – Digital Fusion for Fashion.
PR creative (NT) $25,000 – Studio North x Yarrenyty Older Artists Capsule Collection.
Juluwarlu Group Aboriginal Corporation (WA) $25,000 – Emerging Juluwarlu designs and designers share Yindjibarndi culture.
Rebecca Barlow (WA) $19,500 – Deadly denim from the Mambakoort collection.
Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation (NT) $25,000 – Research on digital marketing platform for textiles and fashion of indigenous art centers.
Ngali pty ltd (VIC) $24,975 – Ngali – Expanding First Nations creativity in the domestic and global fashion market.
Julie Appo (QLD) $25,000 – “Gnarla” will support activities to expand Julie’s art practice along with an online retail platform.
Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire Council (QLD) $21,400 – Yarrabah fashion style 2023.