Online | Connecting Cultures


WHEN: 6 - 8:30pm – 17 Oct 2020

COST: $35

TICKETS: Eventbrite

Sydney Crafts Week 2020 Fashion show + Q&A
The healing art form of Indigenous artisanship

‘Connecting Cultures’ - Indigenous cultures collaborate on fashion show and highlighting traditional craft.

Two Indigenous owned jewellery and creative arts businesses, Gillawarra Arts and Mamiwatta Collections, are celebrating the importance of artisanship via a live streamed fashion show and panel discussion on Saturday 17th October 2020. A percentage of ticket sales will be donated to a nominated fund to support Aboriginal
Deaths in Custody justice.

‘Connecting Cultures’ showcases wearable collections from both brands, highlighting pieces crafted using ancient methods and materials from Indigenous Australian and Colombian communities. The panel discussion featuring the
founders of Gillawarra and Mami Watta will be moderated by Gamilaroi creator, Travis de Vries and will lead a conversation spanning traditional crafting practices, the importance of cultural art forms in healing, and the cultural value of adornment.
“The event patches a significant gap in the recognition of traditional craft beyond modern consumption. In many Indigenous cultures, wearable art plays the role of storytelling, empowering and healing” said Ana Maria Parada, founder of Mami Watta Collections. “Connecting Cultures will underscore how this occurs in two distinct cultural contexts, trace their similarities and differences, and celebrate the continued existence and importance of wearable art today”.
“This kind of cultural skill and knowledge is essential for First Nations peoples around the world”, said Krystal Hurst, Gillawarra Arts Creative Director. “Our cultures have been impacted by over 200 years of colonisation, and our ways of
creating, adorning and existing have also been impacted. Our show will focus on celebrating our survival and resilience.

We need to allocate more space for our ancient cultural knowledge and expression to live on”. The event will be accessible to audiences via livestream. Tickets are $35 which will enable audience members to participate in the livestream.

Gillawarra Arts specialises in contemporary Aboriginal artwork and jewellery that embodies the memories, language and culture of the Worimi people. Gillawarra Arts is owned and operated by Krystal Hurst, a proud Worimi woman with ties to the Biripi. Krystal designs the jewellery herself and also paints and has been recognised nationally for her practice.
As part of Worimi philosophy, all materials for Gillawarra’s wearable and canvas art are sustainably sourced, and the pieces are made by Aboriginal artists. Krystal also facilitates workshops around Australia, including previous work in the prestigious Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (NATISAA), Craft ACT’s Emerging Contemporaries Exhibition and participant of the Indigenous Jewellery Project.

Mami Watta Collections collaborates with Latin American artisans specialising in traditional needle weave beading to create handmade pieces. Its founder Ana Maria Parada partners with the Embera Chami and Wayuu tribes of Colombia to bring their traditional crafts to Australia, and channel income back to these artisans to promote sustainable community lead development.

Ana Maria herself is of Indigenous Colombian descent, and now lives in Sydney. She co-designs the collections herself and also runs beading workshops around Australia promoting the craft. Ana Maria Parada and Krystal Hurst are both passionate about spotlighting Indigenous cultures, ways of creating and existing that extend beyond strictly western practices. Culture encompasses everything from adornment to community organisation. Mami Watta and Gillawarra exist at the intersection of those two practices.