Cadrys Contract collaborates this season with Willie Weston (www.willieweston.com), a brand that works in partnership with Australian Indigenous artists and art centres to develop textiles and wallpapers for commercial and residential interiors. Representing the diversity and uniqueness of contemporary Indigenous art practice, Willie Weston’s ambition is to support and celebrate the integration of Indigenous design into the built environment. Established by art curators, Jessica Booth and Laetitia Prunetti, Willie Weston exists to provide meaningful income for artists, and is built on a scalable licensing model which aims to provide artists with regular revenue streams outside their main art practice.
Working within the rich history of carpet making, Cadrys Contract’s goal was to celebrate contemporary Indigenous art, and to translate the work of six incredibly talented artists from across remote Australia into the soft flooring medium. These artists are Jean Baptiste Apuatimi, April Jones, Elizabeth Kandabuma, Colleen Ngwarraye Morton, Rosie Ngwarraye Ross and Lee-Anne Williams.
Jean Baptiste Apuatimi
Jean Baptiste Apuatimi (deceased) is internationally acclaimed as a painter, carver and printmaker. She was born at Pirlangimpi, Melville Island, Northern Territory, into the Japijapunga (March Fly) skin group. Apuatimi exhibited widely and earned significant recognition as both an artist and a custodian of Tiwi culture. Apuatimi’s design for Willie Weston and Cadrys is called Jilamara. Jilamara is a Tiwi word that refers to the ochre patterning traditionally painted on the bodies of dancers and on carved poles during Pukumani ceremonies.
April Jones spent many years teaching in northern Western Australia before arriving at the Marninwarntikura Women’s Resource Centre in Fitzroy Crossing. Seven years later she began working with social enterprise Marnin Studio, creating block and screen prints of local bush tucker, flora and fauna. Jones’ design for Willie Weston and Cadrys is called Rainbows and celebrates the advent of the dry season, depicting the colourful arcs seen in the sky towards the end of the wet season.
Elizabeth Kandabuma (deceased) was born near Bulgay on Yirritjinga country, in Arnhem Land. She depicted the natural world in a distinctive, lyrical and painterly style. Kandabuma worked with Bábbarra Designs, an art centre in Maningrida, from the early 1990s, and exhibited across Australia. Kandabuma’s design for Willie Weston and Cadrys is called Mud Ripples and depicts the patterns of freshwater mud ripples which emerge after monsoonal wet seasons on the Arnhem Land flood plains.
Colleen Ngwarraye Morton
Colleen Ngwarraye Morton is an acclaimed artist from Ampilatwatja, Northern Territory. She was born in 1957 into the Ngwarraye skin group. Morton often depicts her grandfather’s country, where she her mother and grandmother taught her the importance of seasonal medicines and plants. She was part of the batik movement that emerged in Utopia, Central Australia, in the 1980s. Morton’s design for Willie Weston and Cadrys is called Singing Bush Medicine and represents a ceremony performed by women to celebrate bush medicine through dancing, singing, and painting the body in ochre.
Rosie Ngwarraye Ross
Rosie Ngwarraye Ross (deceased) was born in 1951 near Amaroo Station, Northern Territory. Her skin group is Ngwarraye. In her paintings Ross depicts the bush medicine plants and wildflowers from around her country, around Ampilatwatja. She had a bold, expressive style and often omits the sky from her compositions, combining both aerial and frontal views. Ross’ design for Willie Weston and Cadrys is called Sugarbag Dreaming. Sugarbag is a name used for both the honey made by the native bees and also for the sweet nectar that comes from the big yellow flowers of the ‘tarrkarr’ trees.
Lee-Anne Williams, of the Bunuba and Wangkatjunka language groups of Northern Western Australia, began her career painting boab nuts, then moving onto screen and lino printing on textiles. Williams’ design for Willie Weston and Cadrys is called Water Levels and references the marks that remain on the rocks of the Fitzroy River after flood water levels rise and fall.