Kmart approaches Indigenous art collab with sensitivity and care

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Kmart approaches Indigenous art collab with sensitivity and care

Kmart has collaborated with Indigenous artist Kyralee Shields to create a new homewares range – Mudyin Ngurrawa, meaning ‘Family on Country’ in Dharug. It hit stores and the website at the end of last week and is already selling out (we can see why)! A natural continuation of Kmart’s First Nations program, the range extends across bedding, home décor, living and dining.

Kyralee says working with Kmart was a dream come true

While many might look at the mega brand’s collaboration with some cynicism or assume it was simply trying to look good, Kyralee herself says this was an authentic partnership.

The reversible quilt cover set ($20 for queen) is Kyralee’s favourite from the collection

“Seeing the previous collaboration Kmart had with Judith Young last year, the excitement and pride I felt seeing representation for First Nations mob in such a large chain was wonderful. Then the opportunity arose for the Mudyin Ngurrawa collaboration, and I entered into it with the hope that my art and story could have the same impact that I felt. 

“The Kmart team are so incredibly caring and sensitive. They’ve ensured my art is portrayed correctly and have been so supportive every step of the way. Seeing how passionate they are about First Nations representation through their collaborations, products, staff and programs, it gave me the insight and confidence to know that they are genuine with their intentions.”

Kyralee is a proud Dharug and Darkinjung artist living on Country. Her paintings are a combination of her Indigenous roots and modern contemporary art. Inspired by her mother’s deep history as part of the Stolen Generations and her own vibrant heritage, Kyralee channels her creativity into paintings that honour and recognise her ancestors, whilst expressing her own cultural identity.

Through her art, Kyralee aims to instil cultural pride in her children and future generations, celebrating the freedom to embrace and express their cultural legacy.

This canvas art is just $29

Kmart’s locally-led design team in Melbourne worked closely with Kyralee to understand the artwork’s purpose and meaning, to make sure suggested product extensions are in fact an authentic and appropriate representation of the artist’s story.

Kmart’s head of community, Trish Briggs shared: “At Kmart we are constantly working towards being a trusted and credible partner of First Nations peoples. Due to the size and scale of our business, we have a unique opportunity to help make Indigenous designed products widely accessible to all Australians and celebrate Indigenous artists, by sharing their talents and amplifying their storytelling through our products. Our team is immensely proud of this partnership, as we hope to inspire and educate both our customers and our team members on the rich diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and arts.”

Kyralee, whose favourite piece is the quilt cover set, says working with Kmart was a dream come true. “It’s allowed me to work with a brand I grew up with who provide quality, on-trend products that are accessible to a wide demographic. It has enabled me to share my art with a wider audience while working with a forward-thinking chain.

“Having a brand like Kmart support First Nations artists provides broad exposure to our culture and heritage through art and storylines within the evolving contemporary style, which is important to me. It’s been so gratifying to work on this project with such a wonderful team of people. It’s also been enlightening to see all the different aspects that took my original painting through to the completion of this incredible range that now lines Kmart’s shelves.”

I’m a candle snob but I’ve been burning this $14 one (kindly gifted) at home and will be buying more!

Kyralee says she carefully selected colours and patterns that she thought people would love. “From the wildflowers soy blend candle to the enamel bowl and wooden serving board – I would love to see everybody enjoying this collaboration within their homes.”

The range encompasses serving ware, candles, linens, candles, a decorative pot, a quilt set, canvas art print and more. The Kyralee x Kmart Mudyin Ngurrawa Collection is available now in-store, via the Kmart App and online. Prices range from $5 to $29.

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