ONES TO WATCH: INDIGENOUS CREATIVES & CAUSES
This week, we wanted to shine a spotlight on some of the talented and inspirational Indigenous creatives that we love and admire, so whether you're interested in art, food, or design - these talented individuals are definitely ones to keep an eye on.
For the designers...
Calling lovers of all things fashion and design - Shannon Brett is definitely one to keep on your radar. Descending from the Wakka Wakka, Butchulla and Gurang Gurang clans of southern Queensland, Brett is an interdisciplinary artist who creates designs and artworks intrinsically rooted in experiences as an Aboriginal person living in a modern, urban Australian society. Her work is not only aesthetically beautiful, but infused with meaning as well.
Trained in fashion, graphic & web design, music production, animation, theatre and film, Brett is a creative of many talents with a plethora of experience across industries, having worked as an independent art curator, writer, trainer and arts manager (to name a few). Brett also sits on the Editorial Board for Garland Magazine, and is a member of the Girringun Aboriginal Art Centre Advisory Panel.
Brett's latest project 'Lore' is a textiles concept designed to offer workshop opportunities for Indigenous people interested in developing skills in design, colour theory, fashion, print making, professional development, mentorship and collaboration. As a fashion brand, Lore is currently launching a new online store - which you can keep updated on via their Instagram.
For the foodies...
Having been a chef for over 25 years, Mark Olive is no stranger to the kitchen. With a strong passion for incorporating traditional styles of cooking, Olive fuses native food and culture with contemporary lifestyle cooking to create an entirely new form of Australian Indigenous Cuisine. Due to his highly esteemed career and success, Olive is a member of Tourism Australia's 'Friends of Australia' program, which was designed to showcase influential individuals with a genuine affinity with Australia making a name for themselves on the world stage.
Originally from the Northern Rivers region of NSW, Olive is a Bundjalung man born in Wollongong. After years of observing his mother and aunts prepare food, Olive had an affiliation with cooking from a young age, eventually going on to work in various kitchens in spaces such as theatres, universities, film sets, a lá carte restaurants - the list goes on. Olive has travelled across the globe to deliver signature gourmet Australian Indigenous cuisine events, including the likes of destinations such as Dubai, France, Germany, England, Italy and Switzerland. With his unique repertoire of skills and gourmet food recipes, Olive truly is an iconic ambassador for Indigenous food and Hospitality.
Olive is no stranger to the screen either - featuring in several series including Mast Chef, SBS, as well as his own series; 'The Outback Cafe'. If you haven't heard of SBS Food Network's TV series 'The Good Cooks', it's definitely worth checking out. The series takes six chefs out of their well equipped kitchens (one of which is Olive), and instead places them in foreign lands to learn about local cuisine.
For the artists...
If you're no stranger to our posts and have been keeping up with our blogs - the name Melina McGough might ring a bell. Back in July of last year, we were lucky enough to sit down with McGough and pick her brain about everything from where her passion for art comes from, all the way to her work with the Indigenous Literacy Foundation. Definitely a force to be reckoned with, McGough's work is not only physically beautiful, but created with purpose. While not Aboriginal or Torres Straight Islander herself, when we spoke to McGough last she was working on a project titled 'Love & Unity' - a charity cause where 100% of profits were donated to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation (ILF), which helps to supply books and literacy resources to remote Indigenous communities.
"I had a deep desire to make a positive change after feeling so confronted with the injustices of our current world. I’m aware of Indigenous history, but I wasn’t aware of the literacy gap in Indigenous communities. So I thought, what can I do?" Says McGough.
If you're unfamiliar with ILF, it's a non-profit organisation committed to improving literacy levels and access to literary resources within remote Indigenous communities. Not only do they source thousands of new, culturally appropriate books, ILF also runs programs aimed at inspiring communities to tell and publish their own stories.
"I love Australia I think there’s nothing more important than equal opportunities for everyone. Communication, being able to tell your own story, visually and verbally is key to what I do, so supporting The Indigenous Literacy Foundation was an easy decision for me." Continues McGough
To check out the full interview with the very talented McGough, click here.
WORDS | Britt Ross, TLSE