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March 2012

‘Blossom” will present textiles that explore inspiration from the natural word from diverse cultures the world over. Nature provides design inspiration, plants from which textiles are made, and plants and minerals that are used to create colour.  Textiles will include Australian Indigenous hand printed textiles from Babbarra Arts in Maningrida in Arnhem Land representing the artist relationship with their country and the inspiration of natural materials. It will also feature Indigo dyed wall art by Adelaide Nigerian artist Oluwole Oginni and embroidered clothing by Adelaide Afghani embroiderer Fatima Ataei. Other cloths will include Indian and Central Asian embroidery depicting the symbolic flowers of celebration and ceremony. Babbarra Designs create fine indigenous textile art and are based at Maningrida in central Arnham Land operating out of the Babbarra Women’s Centre. At Babbarra Designs the artists have negotiated traditional practices with introduced materials and techniques to develop new and original textiles.

Influenced by the brightly coloured fashions favoured by the women of Maningrida and traditional subject matter their textiles are vibrant, innovativepieces of art. The work of these artists depicts the landscape, dreaming stories, bush foods and bush crafts from their country in central Arnhem Land. The variation in subject matter reflects the cultural identity of women from the different language groups.Oluwole Oginni arrived in Australia as a refugee from Nigeria in 2009. Since arriving in Australia Oluwole has participated in the Craftsouth Traditional Craft Skills Project in Adelaide, delivering workshops in traditional indigo techniques. Oluwole works with natural indigo sources from the indigo plant and depicts traditional designs inspired by the landscape of Nigeria. Prior to leaving Nigeria he was Director and Coordinator of Creativity for Self-Reliance Studio and Gallery in Nigeria. He established this studio for his own art practise and he provided free training and support for many young people to develop livelihoods based on art making. The majority of young people trained used the skills developed to supplement or provide their income.  Fatima Ataei lives in Adelaide, arriving 4 years ago as a refugee from Afghanistan. She is highly skilled in the traditional textile arts of Afghanistan. For ‘Blossom’ she has made clothing embellished with exquisite fine embroidery, learned as a young girl from her mother in law. Many of these designs are inspired by the flowers of the Afghan countryside. Fatima has also made a collection of superfine silk chiffon scarves with embroidered edging.

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