Men in Mourning from the series Ritual and Ceremony by Maree Clarke. 2011. Courtesy of the artist and Vivien Anderson Gallery

Linear Artists: Nicole Monks

I am a Yamatji Wajarri woman with Indigenous, English and Dutch ancestry.
nyinajimanha (sitting together) forms part of a larger collection marlu, a range of furniture that was supported by Arts NSW, Australian Design Centre and my mentor Terri Winter from Top3 by Design.
Meaning ‘kangaroo’, marlu was inspired by a trip back on Country, visiting my 93-year-old Aunty Dora Dann and reminiscing about her childhood and stories of my great-great-grandmother’s renowned kangaroo-tail stew.
marlu represents the importance of knowledge transfer and the role of memory and lived experience in this process, while encouraging cultural exchange and learnings from Aboriginal philosophies and culture within the contemporary Australian context.
For example, ‘nyinajimanha’ tells the story of people coming together to share knowledge and stories, and so the chairs are designed to be lower than standard to ground us to the earth and create an intimate zone that allows those sitting on the furniture to connect and create community, and encourage social wellbeing, connecting our cultures through our similarities.
Conversation with family, local Aboriginal people and Yamatji Wajarri Elders, images of Country, recipes and reference books were used to inform the creative process, while ensuring cultural protocols were embedded during the development of the furniture.
All the works are customised and made to order, promoting sustainable
practice and a mindful consumption that reflects a caring for Country. This ethical approach ensures cultural sustainability and wellbeing.
The collection features an aesthetic of seamless joins, simplified lines and forms, and a minimalist style, appreciating and learning from Aboriginal philosophy, and encouraging social and cultural connection.