Exhibition highlights contemporary Indigenous fashion
Published on 18 August 2023
IMAGE: Image: Installation view, ‘Piinpi: Contemporary Indigenous Fashion’, Rockhampton Museum of Art, 2023. Credit: Amble Folk.
From Paris, Taipei, and now Rockhampton: the rapidly expanding Indigenous fashion and textile industry comes under the spotlight in an exhibition currently on display at Rockhampton Museum of Art (RMOA).
Created by Bendigo Art Gallery, Piinpi: Contemporary Indigenous Fashion has since toured to Paris Fashion Week and Taiwan’s National Museum of Prehistory. The show explores the seasons and how understandings of Country and culture are reflected in and inspire contemporary textile and fashion designs. Piinpi (pronounced ‘pin-pee’) is a word commonly used in languages across regions of East Coast Cape York Peninsula that refers to seasonal changes and the regeneration of Country.
While the number of seasons can vary across many First Nations groups around Australia, the exhibition is themed around four widely recognised seasons: dry season, wet season, regeneration / season of flowers, and cool season. Modern street wear is also featured.
Piinpi features works of Australia’s leading First Nations artists and designers from the inner city to remote desert art centres, each expressing their culture and connection to Country in exciting and bold ways.
It has been described by Vogue Australia as “an extraordinary exhibition of indigenous design talent.”
The garments use natural and recycled materials, traditional weaving techniques and hand-painted prints.
Rockhampton Regional Council Communities and Heritage spokesperson Cr Drew Wickerson said, “The garments and fabrics are different from anything else being produced around the world. They are uniquely Australian and a marvellous showcase for Indigenous designers.
“I am very pleased that RMOA is able to display this collection and I encourage people to come and have a look at the exhibition. I think visitors will be impressed with the richness of colour and texture of the garments as well as the creativity of the designs,” he said.
Piinpi is on display at Rockhampton Museum of Art until 22 October. Entry is free.
More information www.rmoa.com.au
Rockhampton Museum of Art is owned and operated by Rockhampton Regional Council
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