In a year of isolation and quarantine, our homes have become our main stomping ground. All this time locked up inside and working from home has given me an itch to redesign my space, and why not scratch that itch by supporting a few deadly First Nations businesses?
The easiest way to make your home workspace more inviting, empowering and comfortable is by hanging a few vibrant, playful prints.
Check out the below list of a few of my favourite contemporary First Nations print artists.
Twenty-seven-year-old Wiradjuri, Ngiyampaa, Blak queer woman, Charlotte Allingham is the magical mind behind the Coffin Birth brand.
A style that is unique to her, Allingham’s creations feature powerful images of activism. Her artworks ooze resistance, strength and survival, and feature phrases like ‘Watch As We Rise’ and ‘We Never Needed Your Approval to Exist’.
I first came across Coffin Birth prints plastered on signs at an Invasion Day Rally—a true testament to the meaning and power of her art.
See more at: https://www.charlotteallingham.com/.
Bundjalung and South Sea Islander woman Kimberly Engwicht is the Creative Director of K-Rae Designs.
Beginning her business journey as a stay-at-home mum in 2015, Engwicht’s brand is a mixture of calligraphy and graphic illustrations which range from NAIDOC prints and Country/mob calligraphy prints, to prints of Beyoncé, Tupac and Harry Styles.
Her art is light, simple and attractive; a clean style which adds a pop of character and personality into a workspace.
See more at: https://kraedesigns.com.au/.
Little Butten is owned and operated by proud Kalkadoon woman, Bree Buttenshaw.
Buttenshaw is quite contemporary in her style but pulls in traditional art that touches on experiences of mental health, feminism, racism and identity.
Despite tackling big issues, Little Butten is fun and playful with bright colours and poignant messages.
See more at: https://www.littlebutten.com/.
Mia Ohki illustrations
Métis-Japanese-Canadian artist, Mia Ohki is a fine line First Nations artist based in Canada.
Ohki also sells Fine Art Prints, shirts, stickers, and if you want to make the ultimate commitment, tattoo tickets.
Ohki’s work is incredibly unique and merges the female form with the natural world. Mostly black and white or with simple colour palettes, Ohki’s works have immensely detailed linework and are incredibly calming. Her website also has colouring pages available for free download—the perfect iso boredom killer.
See more at: https://www.miaohki.com/.
Emma Hollingsworth has worked with brands like The Body Shop, Amnesty International and Life Apparel Co. She is a Kaanju, Kuku Ya’u and Girrimay artist whose paintings are bursting with vibrant colours.
Mulganai sells a range of prints featuring traditional and contemporary styles that hold their own in any space. Hollingsworth created an Always Was, Always Will Be print in celebration of NAIDOC Week and is already one step ahead making painted baubles ready for Christmas.
See more at: https://mulganai.com/.
Madison Conners is a proud Yorta Yorta, Dja Dja Wurrung and Gamilaroi woman and is the brains behind Yarli Creative.
From t-shirts, scrunchies and face masks to cards and prints, Conners does it all. Her work weaves traditional and contemporary styles with bold and bright colours.
Much of Conners’ work is so intimately linked to the feminine experience, with artworks depicting mums and bubs, female reproductive organs, childbirth, pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Yarli Creative is art created out of love that celebrates the fun and the feminine.
See more at: https://yarlicreative.com.au/.
By Rachael Knowles