Textile Culture

“It drove me crazy that as an Aboriginal woman in small business, I could never find nice scarves to wear in good fabrics and in an authentic print.”

Art is intrinsic to Aboriginal culture and Kirrikin reimagines its captivating beauty through textile design, to form the foundation of its luxury resort-wear and accessories range.

The label was established by entrepreneur Amanda Healy, who comes from the Wonnaraua nation (traditional owners of the Hunter Valley in New South Wales). Amanda’s personal motivation reflects her desire to see the beauty and richness of Aboriginal culture celebrated widely with a luxury position. To do so, she has paired the art of the world’s oldest living culture with some of the earth’s finest fabrics including chiffon and cashmere.

Amanda searched widely to assemble a collective of Aboriginal artists from Western Australia, New South Wales, Tasmania and the Northern Territory whose art techniques and methodologies tell ancient stories in a modern way, ideal for contemporary textiles.

“In almost every circumstance we work from existing art that translates well, though we have on occasion used specific artists for a specific purpose particularly for corporate commissions. There is very much a style that translates well, and of course much of the artwork is a love at first sight experience!” Amanda says.

Amanda aspires for Kirrkin to grow its footprint internationally, while paving the way for other Aboriginal entrepreneurs and designers.

In respect to the importance of painting to her culture, Amanda references a quote by singer of 1980s band Yothu Yindi Galawuy Yunupinga.

“When we paint – whether it is on our bodies for ceremony or on bark or canvas for the market – we are not just painting for profit. We are painting as we have always done to demonstrate our continuing link with our country and the rights and responsibilities we have to it. Furthermore, we paint to show the rest of the world that we own this country, and that the land owns us.”

Pictured is Kirrikin’s Natures Ants Blue Scarf by artist Shane Hanson, a Noongar man from the South West of Western Australia.