First Nations' fashion has once again transformed One Melbourne Quarter's lobby.
Over a two week period, the lobby hosted a display of five female First Nations' Creative's beautiful designs in recognition of International Women’s Day and Melbourne Fashion Festival.
THISTHAT&US was curated by Melbourne Quarter’s First Nations fashion retailer, Ngali. The exhibition ran from Tuesday 7 March to Friday 17 March 2023 and showcased work from five female First Nations’ Creatives.
While the THISTHAT&US is no longer on display, you can still learn about the five female First Nations’ Creatives that were involved below.
DENNI FRANCISO (NGALI)
Denni Francisco, Ngali’s owner and proud Wiradjuri woman, noted that, ‘art is a lens through which our people see, understand, and communicate with others’. Through Ngali, Denni works closely with remote artists to expand their reach beyond a wall display and onto garments that can be worn on the streets of Melbourne (and internationally). With over 25 years’ experience in the fashion industry, Denni adds that through Ngali ‘we want more people around the globe to know who we are, who we’ve always been … there’s more to us than what you see through the lens of 200 years of colonisation’.
Follow Denni and Ngali here.
Another one of the pieces comes from Tracy Wise, a spiritual artist, natural fibre weaver and jewellery marker, and proud Barkindji Ngiyampaa Maligundidj woman based in Millewa Mallee country.
Starting her art practice in 2015 with her mother, Mary, another well known First Nations creative, she notes that ‘As a spiritual person I observe everything through my travels, so I am very open to what was appearing before me.’
Follow Tracy here.
Mandi’s piece for THISTHAT&US was a beautiful necklace. Mandi is a Yorta Yorta, Barapa Barapa, Wemba Wemba single mother of three daughters residing in the Western Suburbs of Melbourne, Victoria. She has been a multi-disciplinary creative since 1996, working with acrylic on canvas, emu feathers, sand, twine, murals, digital art and jewellery.
She notes that ‘‘My culture, community and country connections are presented within my art and it is also a foundation for how I work.'
Follow Mandi here.
For THISTHAT&US, Lorraine also showcased a stunning necklace. She notes that 'As an artist, my creative life has always included learning, teaching, sharing my art practices, my culture and love of country. Making art from natural and found materials is a creative urge which is in my blood, comes from my ancestral memory. It’s my country’s way of calling me home’
Lorraine is a Yorta Yorta multimedia artist from Flora Hill, Bendigo. Her main mediums are weaving and painting, and she makes handmade ochre paints for her work, which strengthens her relationship with country.
Follow Lorraine here.
Natisha is a proud Hanuabada, Daru, Kalkulgal, Fijiian and Indian woman who is new to the fashion world. She notes that ‘fashion is an emotion to me, it embodies creativity and different aspects of seeing the wearer on how they like to display themselves to the world at that moment in time, walking, living, breathing art.'
As a Creative, Natisha is invested in creating sustainable Couture Fashion.
Follow Nitisha here.