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Marie Claire Feature

Posted on September 17 2020

Indigenous Artists Miimi & Jiinda have taken their artwork to a bold new range of homeware 

The mother-daughter duo has created captivating designs inspired by their ancestry - by Grace Black

Gumbaynggur, Dunghutti and Bandjalung artists Miimi + Jiinda have taken their incredible artworks to the realm of homewares, lending their inspiring stories as Adairs' newest collaboration.

Natural storytellers, the mother-daughter duo's works are rich in culture and explore stories through their bright, distinctive style - seamlessly weaving tradition and contemporary colours to create beautiful works of art that are inspired by their strong, feminine matriarchal line.

For the collection - which features organic cotton bedding, printed lamps, tasselled cushions and other wares - they have translated the hallmarks of their signature artworks into the stunning collaboration. Rich earthy tones meet bold, bright colours to create captivating designs that are soft and feminine, but also strong and empowering.

Speaking to Lauren Jarrett and Mellissa Greenwood ahead of the collection's launch on September 24, we spoke to the inspiring pair about why the collection is so meaningful and how it pays tribute to their ancestral homelands and strong matriarchal origins.

"The Adairs collection has been created for both men and women to enjoy in their homes," the pair told Marie Claire. "The deeper rich earthy tones represent the masculine and their grounded energy, the bright bold colours are very soft and feminine but also strong and empowered representing the matriarch. The collection holds a deep respect for land and culture and our elders.

"We were inspired by our strong sense of responsibility to continue to pass on culture to future generations across the country."

On top of speaking of the collection, Marie Claire spoke to the duo about how their journey as artists began and what their

How Did Your Individual Journey As Artists Begin?
We currently live on Gumbaynggirr country - mum and I were both born here. Mum was raised culturally on country with all her entire family. As with many, the children were taken to orphanages up until the age of 18 when mum came home to meet her parents and other family members again. At this time, she had to re-learn the culture and was determined to raise us children culturally strong. This is what inspired mum to pass on weaving, painting, and language to us - it is extremely important to her.

We are lucky because our Gumbaynggirr language has been completely revived and is thriving through our local Murrabay Language centre in Nambucca Heads. Mum has been painting and weaving most of her life and has become a master weaver, particularly with woven baskets and sculptures. This has inspired me to do the same and she has taught me so much.

When Did You Decide To Start Working Together?
Miimi + Jiinda began because I really wanted to build Mum’s confidence and give her a platform to share her gifts with the world. My passion to see my mother feel valued and build self-confidence played a big role in this.

I have always wanted to pour all my love and passion into something I was incredibly proud of and that had always been a huge part of my culture and family history. I am very passionate about reviving our culture, as well as being able to express my love and appreciation for my identity as an Aboriginal woman. When I create artworks, I feel a deep sense of connection to my ancestors. I feel their guidance and encouragement.

It is wonderful for us to be able to support each other in navigating a fast-growing business. We are both really supportive and easy-going so we are able to excel together and move from strength to strength.

Where Does The Inspiration Behind Your Artwork Come From?
Our connection to mother earth is everything, the earth is our greatest teacher, our knowledge holder, our divine authority. We believe that if we respect the land, it respects us. Over time, we have lost many cultural practices, however, all we can do is continue with what we have now. A big focus for our family is to keep reviving the language, song, art, weaving, dance, ceremony, family connection and respect for land.

Most of our inspiration comes from this. A lot of our design process also involves walking on country and seeing landscapes and textures that we can use in our painting. I also love to listen to the elders to speak about their connection to country that inspires my work through the intricate messages they share.

How Would You Describe Your Artworks?
It’s usually quite feminine, matriarchal and cultural. It has a deep connection to the heart space and there is always deeper meaning behind each piece. Each artwork has an energy behind it, it really takes on a mind of its own. In fact, each time I complete one, I find it hard to part with, but I know it’s going to a place where someone can get joy, peace and healing from it.

The Adairs x Miimi + Jiinda collaboration launches on September 24.

Read our feature in Marie Claire

https://www.marieclaire.com.au/indigenous-artists-miimi-jiinda