Piinpi, a new exhibition at the National Museum of Australia, showcases contemporary fashion design by First Nations artists

Shonae Hobson, curator of Piinpi: Contemporary Indigenous Fashion at the National Museum of Australia. Picture: Elesa Kurtz
Shonae Hobson, curator of Piinpi: Contemporary Indigenous Fashion at the National Museum of Australia. Picture: Elesa Kurtz

Eco-fashion is fast becoming the answer to modern society's fast-fashion addiction, so it should come as no surprise First Nations artists and designers are taking the world by storm.

A striking new exhibition at the National Museum of Australia showcases a series of contemporary works by Indigenous fashion designers from across the country.

Piinpi is Australia's first major survey of contemporary Indigenous fashion.

Curated by Shonae Hobson and developed at Bendigo Art Gallery, the exhibition gives visitors the chance to learn more about the stories, traditions and practices woven into the designs, and the rich cultural history involved in the Indigenous art space

A Kaantju woman from the east coast of Cape York, Ms Hobson has brought a variety of Indigenous fashion pieces from across Australia, both cities and remote communities.

The show includes works by 45 artists and designers, who have created textiles, jewellery, hand-printed garments and even a playful range of streetwear.

"Piinpi features a collection of pioneer designers, artists and makers who are really carving and shaping the future of fashion and design in Australia as well as leading important conversations around ethical and sustainable practices," Ms Hobson said

The word Piinpi is a traditional word from East Cape York that's used to describe seasonal changes in the landscape across time and space.

The exhibition space is thematically built around the four recognisable seasons.

Ms Hobson said contemporary Indigenous fashion played a significant role in the lives of in remote communities, providing a source of income and creative expression. "I hope that it will give audiences an opportunity to really embrace First Nations art and culture," she said.

"This exhibition in particular is incredible because there is such a diverse array of artists and designers ... I really encourage people to come in and learn a little bit about the designers, hear the stories and support black business and First Nations designers."

  • Piinpi is showing at the National Museum of Australia until August 8.
This story New show is keeping to the seasons, First Nations-style first appeared on The Canberra Times.

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