I've just returned from the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair and my other life as a visual arts coordinator for a remote Aboriginal community (another story). It was, once again, beautiful to see the variety, diversity and breadth of beauty on offer from Australian Aboriginal community-based art centres.
Highlights for me this year were Elcho Island Art & Mardbalk Arts, not only due to the strength of their art, but also because you really got a sense of the location of the centres from their exhibits.
And it is so, so easy to buy these things from Sydney or Melbourne. Just a matter of persuing their websites and contacting the art centre!
Elcho Island caught my attention last year when they teamed up with Koskela to produce a range of lights, all hand woven by the weavers at the art centre. It was a great idea, and the results have been spectacular (see images above). Koskela is a firm I've admired since I came across them via Lucy's The Design Files a while ago. They combine sustainability and quality in their products and the aesthetic always seems so uniquely Australian, particularly as they are so keen on using Aboriginal art and design in an ethical and elegant way. HF.
And some images of recent works from Mardbalk:
top image - Billabong Canvas Painting by Richard Dhaymutha, Mardbalk Arts
lower image - Carved Dugong by Lance Djumbala, Mardbalk Arts