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First Nations artist Kaylene Whiskey collaborates with beauty retailer MECCA

Phoebe Blogg -

As part of MECCA's ongoing support of women in the arts, the beauty retailer has this year collaborated with the National Gallery of Victoria and Yankunytjatjara artist Kaylene Whiskey for a limited selection of seasonal holiday packaging.

Striving to support women in the arts whilst also enabling new acquisitions to enter the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) collection, this year the NGV and MECCA Holiday collaboration partnership selected Whiskey as its 2023 artist commission.

Celebrated for her vibrant artworks, Whiskey joined forces with MECCA to create a series of artworks for the brand's holiday packaging.

Combining traditional references from her Anangu culture alongside some of her favourite pop-culture icons, Whiskey's works are a visual manifestation of what brings her joy.

Further inspired by, kungka kunpu (strong women), Whiskey's work celebrates togetherness and traditional culture all whilst bringing in an element of humour and fun.

Kaylene Whiskey pictured with her designs featured on MECCA's holiday packaging. (Image: www.mecca.com)

"I wanted young girls to see my art and see themselves, strong and proud kungkas, looking good and feeling happy," artist Kaylene Whiskey said.

Aside from featuring across MECCA's limited-edition gift boxes, packaging, and signature line collections, Whiskey's unique artworks can be seen across 100 MECCA store windows.

Admired for her ability to fuse traditional culture with fun-loving elements and contemporary themes, Whiskey's art links her community's elders with the experience of younger generations who have grown up with contemporary outside influences such as music videos.

Frequently painting pop-culture icons in remote dessert community landscapes interacting with native plants and wildlife, Whiskey's demonstrates her ability to invite two different cultures and generations to come together.

Based on the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) lands, in a remote Indigenous community of South Australia, Whiskey is also one of the 40 successful contemporary artists from the Iwantja Arts art centre.

Kaylene Whiskey's work on MECCA's holiday packaging. (Image: www.mecca.com)

Iwantja Arts supports the artistic careers of more than 40 - predominantly Yankunytjatjara - artist members, providing access to artistic and professional development.

Iwantja Arts is also renowned for its innovative and culturally rich projects that celebrate Anangu cultural strength and artistic excellence.

Whilst MECCA may be covered in Whiskey's work, the National Gallery of Victoria, will also acquire a Kaylene Whiskey artwork.

"We are so proud to feature such a talented artist, and to bring the same joy to the gallery that we hope this partnership brings to you, we will be contributing to the NGV's acquisition of a Kaylene Whiskey masterpiece," said the MECCA team.

Now celebrating it's eighth year in operation, the NGV and MECCA Holiday collaboration partnership is apart of MECCA's social change program, M-POWER.

Kaylene Whiskey in front of one of MECCA's display windows. (Image: Instagram @iwantja_arts)

Limited-edition Kaylene Whiskey holiday gift boxes and bags will be available from October 31 both in-store and online with any MECCA purchase.

Kaylene Whiskey's artworks can be found at the National Gallery of Victoria's Ian Potter Centre on Level 2.

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