Two sisters talking: Birdsville artists launch fashion label

NEW LABEL: Lala wears Muy-punpunha tank in playground, Kutha skirt, Kadna bracelet and Warrukathi necklace in ochre, Elise wears Muyu-punpunha tank in grey, Pundhara skirt.
NEW LABEL: Lala wears Muy-punpunha tank in playground, Kutha skirt, Kadna bracelet and Warrukathi necklace in ochre, Elise wears Muyu-punpunha tank in grey, Pundhara skirt.

Two sisters are talking and it seems a lot of people are paying attention.

Two aboriginal artists from Birdsville in Central West Queensland, Aulpunda 'Jean' Barr-Crombie and Anpanuwa 'Joyce' Crombie are collectively known as Two Sisters Talking.

Jean and Joyce have now partnered up with Brisbane fashion designer Laura Gangemi and fashion producer Laura Churchill, to launch a new fashion label.

The artists, bring the culture of their country alive in their art, painting a deep love of the country from river to desert.

The fashion label is called Red Ridge and its first collection Diamantina is named after the region where the artists grew up.

It features two compelling silk prints interpreted in natural fibre garments.

One is Children's Playground by Jean Barr-Crombie; a gathering place for children when older generations get together to have their ceremonies.

The other is Pathways and Camps by Joyce; passing on spiritual knowledge by travelling on pathways to camps.

Red Ridge Interior Queensland manager Louise Campbell,said, the goal for the label was to involve artists from different regions within the Red Ridge area, which covers a vast territory from Mount Isa to Thargomindah, to contribute to a new collection.

Joyce said the collection was a good opportunity for people to see where they came from.

"All of our artwork is based around country and Birdsville, and how the people lived years ago from what our mother taught us. We are so passionate about our country," Joyce said.

Jean said their parents shared the stories from the artwork.

"This is our way of teaching the younger generation. They learn from us. Our language is our art," Jean said.

"To have these stories on different materials, and even a catwalk, means so much to us. We are telling our stories through our artwork and these dresses - that is a first for us. If we don't pass our culture on to our young ones, we will lose it."

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Anpanuwa 'Joyce' Crombie is a proud Wangkangurru and Yarluyandi woman who began her artistic journey over 20 years ago when she took up a brush and fell in love with painting the land around her while stranded in floodwaters. Passionate about keeping her family history alive, Joyce creates artwork that exhibits her heritage and how her people lived; capturing the spirit of rock and tree, and speaking to their dreamtime stories.

Aulpunda 'Jean' Barr-Crombie is another proud Wangkangurru and Yarluyandi woman and a passionate artist who uses her trade to keep her family history alive and tell stories of her Aboriginal heritage to the younger generation.

This story Two sisters talking: Outback Queensland artists launch fashion label first appeared on The North West Star.