Introducing Yarn’s NAIDOC 2022 Partner Artists

As many of you may have already seen, the 2022 NAIDOC Week theme has been announced! The theme "Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up!" is a call for action to bring about “systemic change and keep rallying around our mob, our Elders, our communities.”

At Yarn, we celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture through collaborations with our partner artists, whose works speak of strong and unique connections to culture, tradition, heritage, Country and community. We are very excited to announce our partner artists for this year’s NAIDOC collection, as well as a fresh face to Yarn - Sheri Skele, a proud Bidjara woman and contemporary Aboriginal artist. 

Sheri Skele

Sheri Skele and her artworks. Courtesy of Bigi Nagala, 2022.

We are super excited to welcome Bidjara woman and contemporary Aboriginal artist Sheri Skele to Yarn as a partner artist for this year’s NAIDOC collection. Through Sheri’s artworks, in which she calls ‘Bigi Nagala,’ she shares her culture, experiences and hopes for healing First Nations history through her knowledge and stories:

“I call my artworks Bigi Nagala, which means ‘I am dreaming' in Bidjara. Our land spans across South West Queensland and is home to substantial Indigenous cultural heritage, Indigenous healing places, undisturbed natural bushlands, lagoons, wildlife and ancient waterways. 

This is the place where the Rainbow Serpent, Mundagudda, began its movement through the landscape and formed the waterways including the sandstone gorge itself.”

I feel a deep connection to my Aboriginal heritage, the earth, Country and spirit, and feel privileged to be able to share my stories and culture with you through my artwork. I hope to make my mob proud of the artworks that I create and knowledge that I share.”

You can check out Sheri’s gorgeous contemporary designs via her Yarn artist’s profile here and her Instagram account ‘Bigi Nagala’ here.

Mandy Draper

Mandy Draper holding her Deadly Dot Pots hand-painted chopping boards. Courtesy of Yarn, 2021.

We are delighted to announce that Mandy Draper is onboard for yet another year as a partner artist for our NAIDOC 2022 collection!

As many of you may know, Mandy Draper’s small business Deadly Dot Pots is one of Yarn marketplace’s successful partner brands. The proud Darug woman of the Cabrogal tribe creates gorgeous hand painted ceramic plant pots and wooden serving boards.

Mandy believes that art has the ability to positively impact people’s lives and mental health, through viewing it and creating it. Every artwork that Mandy creates focuses on telling stories about the importance of family and culture. All of her paintings have a story attached, explaining the journey of the painting and what some of the symbols mean.

You can check out Mandy’s Yarn artist’s profile here and her Deadly Dot Pots’ Instagram account here.

Mandy’s beautiful painted pots can also be purchased here.

Nathaniel Chapman

Nathaniel Chapman sketching his Custodian Streetwear shirt prints. Courtesy of Yarn, 2021.

We couldn’t be more thrilled to have the talented contemporary artist and proud Goenpul/Yuggera man Nathaniel Chapman onboard for a second year as a resident artist for our NAIDOC 2022 collection!

For the last year, the talented contemporary artist, has been working with Yarn as a resident artist, designing for our inhouse streetwear brand Custodian Streetwear

As a descendant of the Wambia clan of the Northern Territory, Chapman’s artistic nature runs thick through his bloodlines. Across the globe, Chapman has expressed his culture through song and dance, but now focuses on maintaining strong culture through the medium of visual art. Over the last couple of years, Chapman has achieved enormous milestones as a visual artist, from working on a whole range of custom design projects, to having the Indigenous hip hop artists Lil Mase and Mack Ridge repping his Custodian designs. Chapman is a rising star to look out for within the Indigenous art scene!

You can check out Nathaniel’s bold, intricate designs on his Yarn artist’s profile here and on Custodian Streetwear’s Instagram account here.

Charlie Chambers Jnr.

Charlie Chambers Jnr. wearing his NAIDOC 2019 and NAIDOC 2020 polo print designs. Courtesy of Yarn, 2021.

We have been lucky enough to collaborate with Charlie Chambers Jnr since back in 2015, and are absolutely thrilled to have him onboard  again for this year’s NAIDOC collection. Charlie is a proud Jarowair man from the tribe residing from the regions of Toowoomba, Dalby and the Bunya Mountains. He grew up in Cherbourg, a community west of Gympie. It was there that he listened to and learnt the stories of his Elders that he paints today.

“So, when I was a young bloke I used to go on country and hear the elders’ stories….. I’d ask the elders for their permission if I could paint their stories. So each painting that I do is stories that were told to me by the elders of the community. Even though my elders have passed away I still tell their stories through my artwork….Keeping culture alive. My artwork is an important way of continuing stories. For me it’s difficult to write the story out, but if you give me a brush and canvas I’ll paint the story for ya.”

You can check out some of Charlie’s beautiful works on his Yarn artist’s profile here and check his Instagram account here.

Luke Mallie

 To right Luke Mallie wearing his NAIDOC 2020 polo print design, and to right bottom him posing with Ed Sheeran at a meet and greet with his Warrior Heart painting. Courtesy of Luke Mallie, 2020.

Luke Mallie is a proud Kuku Yalanji and Kubin Village man who’s been working with us for some time now. He grew up here in Brisbane, however his heritage is from North Queensland. The Kuku Yalanji people are of the Daintree and Mossman area and Kubin Village is on Moa Island of the Torres Strait Islands. Luke is an award-winning artist, designer and illustrator, with awards of the 2009 NAIDOC Poster Award and the 2018 Art Lovers Australia Award under his belt.

“My inspiration for my artwork is my family, my Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and my tropical surroundings. I’m very influenced by pop culture, animation and modern design. 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.”

You can check out some of Luke’s beautiful works on his Yarn artist’s profile here and his Instagram account here.

Robert Levi

Robert Levi at Cairns Night Market. Courtesy of Robert Levi, 2021.

Robert Levi is a proud Kauraraig man, born in the Torres Strait and grew up living in many mainland Aboriginal communities, including Cape York. His first memory of creating an artwork was from grade three when he took some chalk and drew a large Jurassic Park mural. It was from here that his passion for art and painting began.

Robert creates art as a way of passing on stories, keeping culture alive and inspiring the younger generation. He is a strong advocate for the sharing of authentic Indigenous art and tackling the many issues that have emerged from fake Indigenous art.

You can check out some of Robert’s stunning works on his Yarn artist’s profile here and Instagram account here.

We are excited to show you how Yarn’s partner artists are amplifying their voices and communicating the much needed systemic change through their NAIDOC paintings. So, stay tuned to find out more about their magnificent paintings to come, as well as their thoughts on this year’s NAIDOC theme "Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up!"