Australian indigenous art is the oldest ongoing tradition of art in the world and has always been a vital part of Aboriginal life. A way of connecting past and present, the supernatural and reality, the people and the land. From rock paintings and carvings, dating back 30,000 years to the more current printmaking and fabric printing, Indigenous Australians have been telling their stories through art, for generations.
Maggie Mcgowan, originally from Indigo Valley, has come up with a new and innovative way to keep this fascinating part of Australian history alive, both here and internationally and provide employment opportunities for Indigenous Australians in remote communities, in the process.
With a background in law, Maggie moved to the Northern Territory to work with Aboriginal legal aid (NAAJA) as a civil lawyer. Spending a considerable amount of time over three years travelling to remote communities, she came across some amazing artists that were hand screen printing traditional designs onto fabric in the region. She fell in love with the bold and evocative prints and saw them as a modern and stunning way to tell the traditional stories of indigenous Australians. “ I felt really privileged to be let in on that in my role as a lawyer, to be able to access that art, the textiles and their stories”.