Country to Couture

Waringarri Arts presents the Boonkaj Collection at Country to Couture 2021

Project Categories


Project Status - Current

About This Project

Country to Couture annually showcases the best of First Nation fashion designs in August during the Darwin Festival.

This year Waringarri Arts presented the BOONKAJ Collection,  celebrating the “emerging or coming out” of designs by our textile artists. Inspired by traditional knowledge of bush plants and fostering the maintenance of cultural traditions, artists have created a unique range of plant inspired motifs hand-block printed onto fine linens and cottons.

The sophisticated collection is informed by the beauty of bush plants and the dramatic colours of the Kimberley.  Motifs include Gerdewoon (boab nut), Jilinybeng (bush cucumber), Jamarndaj (bush fig), Mejerren (black plum) and Moorrooloomboong (prickly wattle).  All these hand printed designs are created on Miriwoong Country. 

Included in the model line up was Miriwoong woman Kanetia Griffiths, daughter of textile artist and Waringarri Arts Chairperson, Dora Griffiths.

Born from the Waringarri Textiles Project, artists learn from senior cultural elders such as Peggy Griffiths and Agnes Armstrong about bush plant knowledge and Country enabling the development of unique motifs and designs as well as the transferring of traditional knowledge. Children attend the art centre with their mothers while they work, providing a safe space for young families while also ensuring that there is economic opportunities in the remote community.

All spare fabric lengths are made into textile bags, and smaller items are sold through the Waringarri Arts gallery and online platforms or marketed wholesale to retailers.

Gerdewoon Thon Malin Bomber Jacket
Jamarndaj outfit with Waterlily bag
Gerdewoon splice dress
Gerdewoon evening dress
Moorrooloomboong and Gerdewoon
Jamarndaj dress