Koskela founders Sasha Titchkosky and Russel Koskela have worked closely with various Indigenous artists and art communities for nine years. Over the years, they’ve travelled to remote communities and completed research into Aboriginal art practices so they could create partnerships that were purpose-built and sustainable.
After numerous successful collaborations and product development, this winter the Australian design house is exhibiting Walma / Moon Rise, its first Indigenous group art show in the Koskela Gallery, with 24 contemporary works by 15 Indigenous-Australian artists.
“This exhibition feels like a culmination of the many years we've been working with Indigenous artists,” says Titchkosky. “We really wanted to do something for our audience that showcased the breadth and talent that exists in contemporary Australian Indigenous art today.”
“Walma” is a Yolngu word that translates as “to emerge” or “rise”, reflecting the contemporary nature of the works. The exhibition includes 24 mixed media works and showcases some traditional paintings as well as prints, sculpture, photography, fibre work and video.
On the decision to curate works only in black and white, Titchkosky explains: “We thought it would be interesting to strip all the colour out of the pieces and let the different mediums and styles speak for themselves. I think also that many people's perceptions of Aboriginal art in Australia is of colourful dot paintings and we wanted to challenge that and promote what's really happening.”
Standout pieces in the exhibition include a linocut print, Warriors, Sorcerers and Spirits, by Brian Robinson and black dilly bags, woven from Pandanus fronds, by Margaret Rarru from Milingimbi. Dilly bags are traditionally used by women to gather food but now are also products of weaving artistry.
Available for sale at Koskela is also a range of black-and-white printed goods to complement the exhibition, including table linen, bags and tea towels.
Walma / Moon Rise is on show from July 29 to August 27.