Image: NITV Live Facebook broadcast
by Nina Fitzgerald and Ellie Meyer
The Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation (DAAFF) is thrilled to announce the winners for this year’s inaugural National Indigenous Fashion Awards (NIFA).
The Inaugural National Indigenous Fashion Awards proudly announced the 2020 winners this evening (Wednesday, 5 August 2020).
Broadcasted live via NITV’s social media and hosted by The Point anchor, Rachael Hocking, the NIFA showcased collections and designs from Australia’s leading and emerging designers and artists. A unique opportunity for both the Australian and international fashion communities to connect to the world’s oldest living cultures. Audiences also enjoyed the ethereal sounds of guest performer, Eric Avery.
In the face of Covid-19, the NITV Broadcast brought people together to celebrate the inaugural awards ceremony and pay tribute to the vibrant, diverse and innovative designers who are making their own unique footprint within the world of fashion.
Proudly brought to you by the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation and sponsored by the Northern Territory Government, the NIFA recognises and celebrates the innovation, diversity and ethical practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and fashion designers.
The inaugural event saw 33 First Nations fashion creatives nominated from across the country, and awarded winners across six unique categories.
And the winners are;
- Peggy Griffiths, for the Cultural Adornment and Wearable Art Award – co-presented with DAAFF
- Kieren Karritpul, for the Textile Design Award – co-presented with RMIT University and Ross Bonthorne
- Maara Collective X Bula’bula Arts, for the Community Collaboration Award – co-presented with Northern Territory Government
- Ninti One, for the Environmental and Social Contribution Award – co-presented with Northern Land Council
- Bede Tungutalum, for the Special Recognition Award – co-presented with Northern Territory Government
- Julie Shaw, for the Fashion Design Award – co-presented with Country Road
Meet the Award Winners
Cultural Adornment and Wearable Art Award Winner
Cultural adornment and wearable art goes deeper than just the decorative, it is a visual vocabulary, enriched with cultural expression.
The judges commend Peggy on her strong cultural leadership and mentorship, and the confidence she is providing to young people in her community. Peggy’s Legacy Dress reflects the importance of culture, whilst remaining a visibly breathtaking piece which is wearable across the ages.
The Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation are proud sponsors of this Award, and recognise that wearable art and cultural adornment creates a modern way to acknowledge the remarkable and ancient practice of body design and ceremony which has danced its way across this country for millennia. Peggy will receive a cash prize of five thousand dollars!
Textile Design Award Winner
Indigenous textile designs hold deep meaning and are a medium which pushes the boundaries of contemporary First Nations cultures. There is freedom to textile design, seen in the use of the vibrant colours, and new expressions of old stories, which enable artists to stretch their imagination.
Kieren is a talented young designer whose work is already being recognised both nationally and internationally. The judges congratulate Kieren on his ability to tell stories through his textiles and bring about a truly emotional experience. Additionally, Kieren’s use of movement and truly breathtaking colours.
This Award is proudly sponsored by the School of Fashion and Textiles, the Ngarara Willim Centre at RMIT University and philanthropist Ross Bonthorne, who are excited to support the emergence of new textile design.
Community Collaboration Award
Julie Shaw of MAARA Collective & Mary Dhapalany Mangul, Margaret Djarbaalabal Malibirr and Evonne Muyuyngu of Bula’bula Arts.
When creatives, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous come together, the sharing of ideas and histories, cultural storytelling and spiritualism, and traditional practices amongst family clan groups and their wider communities can be celebrated.
The judges note that this collaboration is powerful because it demonstrates a process of cultural knowledge sharing. Julie spent time collaborating with Mary, Evonne, and Margaret in Ramingining, learning their traditions, stories and cultural practices. This collaboration was not led by any prescribed ideas, but was instead culturally led with both parties empowered throughout the process.
This Award is proudly sponsored by the Northern Territory Government, who see art and culture as absolutely integral to the social and economic wellbeing of remote communities. Maara Collective X Bula’bula Arts will receive tickets to a major textile or fashion event, with a travel allowance of $5000 as well as an editorial in a major fashion publication.
Environmental and Social Contribution Award
This award celebrates excellence and leadership in environmental and social development understanding, and practice in relation to textiles and fashion. Ninti One Limited have had a huge impact on the protection of artistic, creative and cultural works, plus generate immeasurable benefits to the First People of PNG, both culturally and economically.
The Northern Land Council is proud to sponsor this award category. They believe that this award promotes environmentally friendly and social fashion and projects that can create economic opportunities for Aboriginal people. Ninti One will receive tickets to a major fashion summit of their choice and travel allowance of five thousand dollars.
Special Recognition Award
This Award honours a group, organisation, or individual that has shown exceptional contribution to the development of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander textiles and fashion.
The judges congratulate Bede on his outstanding breadth of work over many decades, and his strong cultural leadership and vision as a senior artist within his community, nationally and internationally. A talented man from Bathurst Island, It is so important to recognise his amazing contribution to the Indigenous art and design industry.
The Award is proudly sponsored by the Northern Territory Government, who acknowledges and celebrates those who have contributed to the evolution and journey of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander textiles and design, spreading it globally ensuring that it continues to grow and develop and providing new avenues for jobs and economic prosperity for Aboriginal people. Bede will receive a ten thousand dollar cash prize!
Fashion Design Award
The Fashion Design Award recognises a commercial fashion label who has produced a minimum of two collections of original design of clothing, jewellery or accessories.
The judges congratulate Julie on her optimistic use of colour, and the fact that her designs are elegant and unique contemporary interpretations of Indigenous design. Additionally, Julie’s key business pillars of giving back to the community prove that her brand, MAARA Collective, goes much deeper than the commercial look, drawing on the storytelling of Aboriginal Australia.
Country Road is the proud sponsor of this Award, in celebration of the wonderful creative talent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and fashion designers. Julie’s prize is presented by Country Road and includes industry mentorship and business support with the large fashion retailer, travel within Australia to workshops and mentor sessions and a one year membership to the Australian Fashion Council.
Congratulations to all of our nominees and of course to the winners. It’s no secret that we have got some talented people out there doing amazing things.
Thank you to all our Industry and Award partners and we look forward to sharing more from Indigenous Fashion Projects soon!
Thank you to our Media Partners, NITV and marie claire!
- Bede Tungutalum. Photo by Bill Hawker.
- Julie Shaw, Mary Dhapalany Mangul, Margaret Djarbaalabal Malibirr and Evonne Muyuyngu at Country to Couture 2019. Photo courtesy of Julie Shaw.
- Julie Shaw. Photo by Georges Antoni for marie claire.
- Kieren Karritpul in the garden at Merrepen 2020@ Copyright Cathy Laudenbach. Merrepen Arts 2020.
- Ninti One Limited workshops in progress. Photo by Bilums&Bilas.
- Peggy Griffiths. Photo by Frances Kofod.