A Yarn with Artist Mandy Draper from Deadly Dot Pots

As many of you may know we are very excited to have Deadly Dot Pots join Yarn as one of our partner brands. The incredible artist behind Deadly Dot Pots is Mandy Draper, a proud Darug woman of the Cabrogal tribe. Recently we had the wonderful opportunity to meet and sit down to chat more about her artistic practice and Deadly Dots Pots mission.

Why did you begin Deadly Dot Pots?

“I started Deadly Dot Pots as just painting for me, so it was to help with my mental health and then I had all of these pots at home, and I thought what am I gonna do with all of these so I took a few into work and it just went crazy everyone was just like “I love these, you need to do something with this!” So it was something that was very unplanned and it just blossomed from there.”

Why did you choose to paint pots?

“I had some pots around and I thought why not paint these, something so different. I think my first one was of an Aboriginal flag….I found it really relaxing.”

What is Deadly Dot Pots mission?

“It is more to raise awareness for mental health, so I’ve been through alot in the last 12 months just with family and medical issues and things like that and my own as well. To me painting was a place to just forget everything….and then from there it was for me to tell other people that, you know, find something that helps you with your mental health. That’s where it's kind of come from, it’s just starting that discussion.”

When did you start painting?

“My first memory was definitely the Aboriginal flag, the one on the pot, so that was December 2019. All over Christmas I did a bit more...that was probably when I was at my worst with my mental health. My Dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer so I needed something to just not think, cause it’s always on your mind. So yeah that was my first memory, getting in and getting that pot done and I was like yeah I can do this!”

Who is one of your favourite artists who inspires you?

“I do look up to, obviously Miimi and Jinda and there’s another lady, she collaborates with her sisters and they’re called Cungelella Art and I’ve followed them for a couple of years and always liked their work.”

We know you use your art as a way to advocate the importance of mental health and how art can help, how do you educate your community about this?

“I’ve done a few programs through my work because I work for an Aboriginal Corporation on the Sunshine Coast….we do women’s groups and things like that. I’ve done a lot of painting trying to incorporate that talking about what I’ve been through and how painting’s helped me, to inspire people to find that something that makes them feel better. I also have another company on the Sunshine Coast where my pots are sold, it’s just a little plant store and they’ve got a little bit of detail of the mental health side of things. But I would like to broaden it.”

Are you excited to be a part of the Yarn Platform?

“My goal for 2021 was to get my name out there and discuss more about what I want to talk about [the significance of mental wellbeing] and then January 2021...I [started creating more]...artwork and I’m like, ‘I am kicking goals…..I’m very excited.’”

What are your future plans for Deadly Dot Pots? Would you like to expand your range of products?

“I sometimes have some strange requests, so I have a lady at the moment that wants ramekin bowls, so just little wooden bowls and I’m going to do those for her and see how I go with that. But I’m very open, if someone asks hey how do you feel about painting this I’ll give it a go. If you’re willing to trust me I’m definitely happy to give it a go. I’m willing to see what the future holds.”

Tell us about the Commission work that you do.

“Yeah so I had a lady from was from Melbourne and she has a daughter who was named Yarra after the Yarra River, she wanted to incorporate something for her….she committed suicide I think it was about 2 years ago and she wanted a pot to tell her story about a mother and daughter and then she wanted to spread her ashes in the pot and grow a plant. Painting that one was very very touching. So yeah if people have that kind of story where they can share a story, I’m happy to collaborate on a pot. I think that one will stick with me for a long time because it’s very special.”

Is there anything else you like to tell us about your beautiful pots and products?

“I am working on some new designs. It's just finding the time, I want to do one on…. I’m going to call it Dad’s Journey so what Dad’s been through….but I think that will take a while. So this year I’m hoping to get some new designs out as well.”

Mandy’s gorgeous designs are now available on Yarn. Get in quick because we only have a limited range of these incredible hand painted pots and serving boards.

Shop here.