Get to Know Yarn’s Young Artists Competition Judges

Our upcoming Young Artists Competition will be judged by two of Yarn's talented Indigenous partner artists: Holly Sanders and Luke Mallie. Both of these artists have worked with Yarn for many years creating unique contemporary artworks. They are excited to be a part of this competition as it is an excellent opportunity to witness the talents of emerging young artists from around Australia.

Luke Mallie

Luke Mallie painting a wall at Artspace, MacKay. Image Instagram @lukemalliedesigns, 2018.

Luke is a proud Kuku Yalanji and Kubin Village man. Although he grew up in Brisbane, his heritage is from North Queensland. The Kuku Yalanji people are of the Daintree and Mossman area, and Kubin Village is located in Moa Island,Torres Strait. With the encouragement of his family, Luke took to art at a young age and has continued on to become an incredibly successful contemporary artist and designer. He studied a Bachelor of Visual Art and a Bachelor of Multimedia Studies at Central Queensland University, Brisbane. Throughout his career he has combined his art and multimedia knowledge to create beautifully detailed contemporary artworks and installations.

Luke takes inspiration from his Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and their tropical surroundings. Other sources of inspiration include pop culture, animation and modern design. Through Luke’s artistic practices, he loves to be able to share the beauty of his culture:

“I feel that my artwork is my gift to help others see the beauty of Aboriginal culture, appreciate Indigenous issues, and bring joy to people through colourful art and designs.” - Luke Mallie

If you'd like to check out some of Luke Mallies artwork you can find his Instagram here.

Holly Sanders

Holly Sander with her artwork “Guygam Sandhills.” Image courtesy of Bundarra, 2019.

Holly Sanders is a proud Bundjalung woman. The Bundalung people are from the Northern Coastal area of NSW. Similarly to Luke, Holly began painting at a young age, and she describes her love for it where she says:

“I have always loved painting, I was sick a lot during my childhood and I would always paint and sketch in hospital and at home in bed...I think it helped with my healing.” - Holly Sanders

It was once Holly graduated high school that she fully realised painting was her passion and an important part of her cultural identity. For Holly, painting keeps her culture strong, it is good for health and well being and also connects her to who she is spiritually. Holly’s biggest inspiration is her Country - the land, sea and sky. The colours and patterns of her Saltwater Country have a major influence in her artworks.

Throughout Holly’s years of painting, she has developed a unique contemporary style which combines traditional techniques with bright, modern colour palettes to bring the patterns of her country to life. Holly talks further about how she mixes her traditional culture and contemporary style:

“I use my art to tell the story of my Country and ancestors because I want to be able to share and celebrate my culture in a contemporary way with everyone.” - Holly Sanders

If you'd like to check out some of Holly Sanders artwork you can find her Instagram here.

Yarn is incredibly excited to have these two influential Indigenous artists onboard with our Young Artists Competition. We hope that their stories and achievements can serve as a source of inspiration for aspiring young Indigenous artists.

If you would like to get involved with the competition check out some of the incredible submissions we have received from young artists so far and vote for your favourite artwork. Luke Mallie and Holly Sanders will then select the winner from the top five submissions with the highest number of votes. The winning artwork will be the entry that the judges feel best reflects the competition theme “Always Was, Always Will Be.”

To vote for your favourite artworks you can find the competition page here.