This week Yarn Marketplace turns one! It has been an incredible first year establishing and sharing our new marketplace with you all - we couldn’t have done it without you. Although it’s been a crazy year, we feel incredibly grateful for the change and growth we’ve experienced.
Join us in celebrating this week by checking out some of our top highlights of the year that we’re especially proud of!
1.We released three incredible Custodian Streetwear ranges, designed by Goenpul/Yuggera artist Nathaniel Chapman
Nathaniel Chapman sketching designs ‘Original Custodians,’ ‘Rainbow Serpent’ and ‘Cape York.’ Courtesy of Yarn, 2021.
For the last year, the proud Goenpul/Yuggera man and talented contemporary artist, Nathaniel Chapman, has been working with Yarn as a resident artist, designing for our inhouse streetwear brand Custodian. Nathaniel Chapman has incredible talent and we can’t wait to see where his dreams take him in the coming years. Check out his stunning designs on the Custodian Streetwear Instagram account @custodian_streetwear and shop the collections here.
2. We ran our Young Artists Competition for a second year
Justin’s ‘The Healing Leap’ artwork on a kids t-shirt. Courtesy of Yarn, 2021.
Last May, we announced the winner of our Young Artists Competition. 10 year old Justin won a $500 Yarn gift voucher, and his artwork ‘The Healing Leap’ was printed on an exclusive Yarn collection. 100% of the profits from sales went to our partner charities the Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation, Gunawirra, Nutrition Plus and Surat Aboriginal Corporation.
The competition was judged by two of Yarn’s talented partner artists Shara Delaney and Mandy Draper. Justin’s work was chosen by the artists as he did an incredible job at creating an artwork and story that encapsulated the competition’s theme “Heal Country.” Through Justin’s artwork’s representation of the kangaroo, he showed us moving forward together as a nation and healing country.
3. Supported our Community Partner Gunawirra
Last June, we designed and donated staff shirts to our lovely community partner Gunawirra. The polo shirts feature the beautiful artwork ‘Yura Nura’ meaning ‘People on Country’ by the talented Boorooberongal Dharug contemporary Aboriginal artist Melissa Barton, owner of Alkiira Indigenous Art.
In a press statement, CEO and Executive Director, Graham Toomey expressed how the painting encapsulates the essence of Gunawirra, “I feel this captures our work and those people, children and communities we support across Sydney and greater NSW.”
Gunawirra staff members in their new staff shirts holding the painting by Alkiira Indigenous Art. Courtesy of Gunawirra, 2021.
An important part of the incredible work our Gunawirra carries out is providing art therapy sessions for Indigenous mums and bubs. As part of our support of Gunawirra, throughout the year we donated art supplies so that mums and bubs have access to the materials they need to create and heal! If you'd like to learn more about Gunawirra and their important work check out their website here.
5. Attended the First Nations Fashion + Design: Walking In Two Worlds Fashion Show
During Brisbane Festival’s celebrations in September 2021, we had the privilege of attending and livestreaming the First Nations Fashion + Design: Walking In Two Worlds fashion show at South Bank Piazza. The incredible show featured 11 First Nations Designers and was a celebration of diversity, inclusion, storytelling and connection to Country. It was amazing to see all of the Indigenous creatives that brought this first of it’s kind show together to spotlight some of the incredible First Nations Designers and models involved. Fingers crossed that there is another all-Indigenous fashion show like this next year at the Brisbane Festival. We hope to see the Brisbane First Nations fashion scene continue to grow and thrive!
6. Designed and donated tees and merchandise for Surat Aboriginal Corporation’s incredible Bamba Gii Festival
Kids performing the song ‘Strong Heart, Bamba Gii’ at the Bamba Gii Festival. Courtesy of Surat Aboriginal Corporation, 2021.
Don’t these kids look gorgeous?! In September, our wonderful community partner Surat Aboriginal Corporation held the Bamba Gii Festival in Roma, QLD, in celebration of the local Indigenous culture and the Southwest QLD Indigenous Cultural Trail (SWQICT). We proudly provided volunteer, kids choir shirts and merchandise for the festival. Festival goers were treated to a performance of the beautiful song ‘Strong Heart, Bamba Gii’ by the kids choir.
7. We launched Yarn Raise, featuring ALNF’s gorgeous merchandise
In November, we launched Yarn Raise, a brand new section of the Yarn website dedicated to supporting Indigenous and ally-friendly non-for-profits and community organisations. Yarn Raise gives organisations the opportunity to sell their merchandise through Yarn, with 100% of the profits going directly back to them.
Through Yarn Raise, we take care of all of the time-consuming behind the scenes stuff and the financial risk involved in selling and producing merchandise so that they can focus on what’s really important: supporting Indigenous communities. We do all of the processing of orders, promotion through our 150k social media followers and provide organisations with print-on-demand services so that there are no upfront costs. Yarn Raise provides a more streamlined, environmentally conscious and financially sustainable way of producing, marketing and selling merchandise.
ALNF ambassador Adam Goodes modelling their Adults White Long-sleeved ‘Literacy is Freedom’ Tee. Courtesy of ALNF, 2021.
Our community partners, ALNF were the first to join Yarn Raise. ALNF strongly believes that ‘Literacy is Freedom’ as literacy allows individuals to access education, participate meaningfully in our society and to have a voice. ‘Literacy is Freedom’ has become their motto and is featured on ALNF’s gorgeous range of merchandise. This range includes tees, tote bags, keep cups and more - all available on Yarn Raise.
Check out Yarn Raise today and help support organisations that make significant contributions to Indigenous and ally-friendly communities, their health and wellbeing. Shop and promote change through Yarn Raise.
8. We Launched Yarn Gallery
In November, we also launched Yarn Gallery - an online art gallery dedicated to exhibiting a wide range of original artworks by First Nations artists from across Australia. Yarn Gallery aims to provide Indigenous artists with a platform to gain recognition, whilst informing the wider Australian community about Indigenous art and culture through the experience of purchasing authentic First Nations artwork.
Latest original artworks from the talented Warlukurlangu Artists. Courtesy of Warlukurlangu Artists, 2021.
The gallery offers a number of incredible original paintings by First Nations artists from our partner art centre Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation, an art centre based in the remote communities of Yuendumu and Nyirripi, Central Australia. We also offer a range of stretched canvas prints of original paintings by the immensely talented and proud Jarowair man, Charlie Chambers Jnr. These beautiful printed canvases are perfect for adding some gorgeous colour and life to your home. A great way of getting a feel for what painting will look on the wall and in your home is through our 3D Gallery. Here you can peruse our latest collection just as if you were in an actual gallery space. Visit our 3D Gallery here.
In the same month, we announced the arrival of original paintings from the Mornington Island Art (MIArt) centre to Yarn Gallery. Mornington Island, also known as Kunhanhaa by the Lardil people, is located in the Gulf of Carpentaria in Queensland and is the largest of the 22 islands that form the Wellesley Islands group. The artists living in this community are known for their vibrant use of colours and patterns to tell stories of ancestral songlines, dances and Lore.
My Mother's Country by Helena Gabori - Original Painting - 90x60cm. Courtesy of Yarn, 2022.
That’s Yarn's first year, wrapped! We look forward to yet another year of supporting, empowering and showcasing our community partners, collaborating artists, partner brands and art centres.
We would like to thank all our new and returning customers for their ongoing support of what we do here at Yarn and are excited to share with you many new products and designs to come that speak of Country, culture, and the Dreaming.