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Indigenous artist behind Cadbury Roses box draws inspiration from love of family and culture

Emma Ruben -

If you've recently gone grocery shopping and thought the Cadbury Roses boxes are looking a bit different, you'd be right.

Gone is the dark purple box design. In its stead is a vibrant pink design by Wemba Wemba, Nari Nari, Wiradjuri, Wotjiboluk and Boon Wurrung artist Kenita-Lee McCartney.

The box is the outcome of a partnership between Cadbury and McCartney for a limited-edition Cadbury Roses box entitled Kalintyerra.

The meaning of Kalintyerra is 'to love one another'.

While COVID-19 came with its tribulations, for McCartney, it also brought inspiration.

"COVID really gave me the time to connect more myself, to what is important and I feel like I've been able to express that on the artwork," she said.

"It draws on a deep connection to my land and for the people that I love and hold closest to me.

"And just the beautiful walks that I go on with my family on Country. The forests and the waterways, it's all in my design."

Each design element on the box means something to McCartney.

The circle outlined in white dots represents the lakes and waterholes, while the small pink brush strokes are an indicator of a birds eye view of forest and bushland.

To do this design justice, McCartney started with nine canvases on the ground before determining what would be the best path to take.

Once she began, McCartney said she was really drawn to bright hues which gave off a spirited, lively tone.

"The vibrant colours is what I feel inside of me about my culture, about dancing and our stories and our ceremony," she said.

"Even though we've had all these horrible things happen, and still happen, I want to tell our stories in a different way.

"I want to tell my stories in a different way and from a different lens."

After designing the limited-edition Cadbury Roses box, McCartney and Cadbury have a few more designs in the work for 2023.

McCartney also has artworks and prints on her website available for sale and creates and prints her work from her own home studio.

McCartney's limited edition designs on the Cadbury Roses box are in store now.

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