Redefining Slow Fashion with First Nations Art : Holly Sanders New Work
Holly Sanders has been one of the most successful artists in the Nerida Hansen Fabrics offering, and I am thrilled to bring this new collection "Shaping Country" to our audience.
Holly is a contemporary artist, teacher and proud Bundjalung woman from the North Coast of New South Wales. She currently lives and works on Yuin Country on the South Coast of New South Wales. Through her art she aims to share her stories, culture and country in a contemporary way.
The new "Shaping Country Collection" will redefine how we are using our First Nations Artwork. Hollys work in the past has produced hundreds of beautiful garments with their bright hues and strong pink palettes. This collection however, lends itself to a much more glamorous aesthetic with strong deep greens and olives. The warmer pinks are much more tonal than before, and will add depth and warmth to our winter wardrobes.
First nations art holds a special place in my heart. The recent and unfolding environmental and social challenges we are facing as Australians need action, and the deep wounds of industry and politics in this nation need healing. We are so privileged as Australians to have our First Nations peoples who's connection to land, country and sky hold the key to the health of our nations heart. It is just so unfortunate that too many of us are not listening.
Holly and I have the same vision for moving forward - working together, sharing the stories and celebrating our artists, who's work can educate us, and remind us that white Australia is just a small part of a much bigger, much more important picture.
"Shaping Country" is a new series of patterns created from Holly's orginal works bearing the same name. The soft pinks and taupes offer a beautiful soft winter palette, whilst the deep greens and olive colours will make incredible garments that can be worn as formally, or as casually as you like.
Shaping Country Prints
This work is our hero which is the namesake of the collection. "Shaping Country". It represents the shaping of Country. For thousands of years and generations First Nations people managed, fostered and shaped the land carefully. A complex system of land management, fire stick farming, aqua and agriculture of managing native flora and fauna were sustained for thousands of years. First Nations people are the first farmers, and Early European explorers marvelled at the maintained open grassy plains growing on friable, spongy soil. These explorers failed to recognise this was not ‘natural,’ but the result of thousands of years of careful management by the land’s traditional custodians. Evidence from artworks, journals and plant lifecycles show how Aboriginal communities had a profound impact on caring and shaping the Country.
I love this beautiful fluid design. This work represents hills and Country, symbolising First Nations peoples ongoing connection to the land. The natural green colours represent the colours of the hills on Bundjalung Country. First Nations people are the ancient people of this land - we respect and listen to the land, our elders and the ancient spirits. Our ancestors have walked this sacred country for millennia and continue to live on in the land, the hills, the waters and the sky.
Bush Seed Country
I will be using this fabric to warm my winter wardrobe. "Bush Seed Country" represents the seeds and grasslands on Country which were the result of First Nations people who, for generation upon generation, actively and intelligently shaped and manicured. First Nations people are the first farmers and bread makers, and Early European explorers marvelled at the maintained open grassy plains. These explorers failed to recognise this was not ‘natural,’ but the result of thousands of years of careful management by the land’s traditional custodians. Many grass seed species are known to have made highly nutritious ‘bush breads’ and cakes.
Seed Pods on Country
I will be wearing this design on my organic cotton sateen and Tencel™ linen for evening and special occasion pieces. This piece represents bush seeds and pods on Jagun- Country. First Nations people were the worlds first bread makers and bakers. Seasonal seeds, grain, legumes, roots and nuts were ground into a flour and were then formed into a dough. Bread making was a labour intensive task, generally carried out by several women at once. Millstones for grinding seeds into flour have been discovered which date to be over 36 000 years old, which is well ahead of other civilisations, such as the Egyptians, that started baking early on.
This joyful collection is now available for back-order and will be delivered in late April. We cannot wait to see this collection on a wide range of products. Holly's work is seriously magical.
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