The Culture Couture Fashion Project was the first performance of Indigenous Australian textiles and fashion design in the United States. After a fashion design contest in January 2015, eight sketches were chosen by the Kluge-Ruhe Collection and Professor Marcy Linton in the UVA Department of Drama, and were fabricated in an advanced-level Costume Technology course in the 2015 fall semester. Each garment was made with Indigenous textiles that were procured with the help of Alison Copley from the following art centers: Injalak Arts and Crafts, Merrepen Arts, Erub Erwer Meta, and Babbarra Women’s Center. To showcase the completed garments, the Kluge-Ruhe Collection worked with over thirty UVA students to present a fashion performance at the Jefferson Theater on March 19. The evening included a special performance by visiting Aboriginal trio Billiir, made up of sisters Nardi Simpson, Jilda Andrews, and Lucy Simpson (Yuwaalaraay). The performance featured three segments, twenty-one models, and a total of forty-four looks. In addition to the eight designs fabricated by students, models also exhibited garments from Indigenous designers Elisa Jane Carmichael (Quandamooka), Nicole Monks (Wajarri Yamatji) and Cara Mancini Geros, Julie Shaw and Lucy Simpson (Yuwaalaraay, Kamilaroi) and Grace Lillian Lee. Click here to read more.
Click here to download a copy of the program from the runway event.
February – March 2016
Bianca Beetson (Kabi Kabi) is an Australian Indigenous contemporary artist based in Brisbane. During the course of her residency, Beetson taught in William Bennett’s Sculpture courses at UVA, guest lectured for George Sampson’s Arts and Athletics course on The Black See, and lectured to adults in an Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) course. She partnered with Megan Marlatt, a Professor of Studio Art at UVA, in making a ‘big head’ self-portrait. The Kluge-Ruhe Collection hosted various sewing circles with UVA students and community members to help her finish a new work, the Elmo Skin Cloak, which was accepted into the 2016 Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards. She also presented a guided tour of her exhibition of selfies, Being Human, and delivered an artist talk at the Kluge-Ruhe Collection.
Click here to download a copy of the brochure that accompanied her exhibition.
Presented in partnership with Australia Council for the Arts, Pat Hoffie, Queensland College of Art, Griffith University and UVA McIntire Department of Art.
Dancers Taree Sansbury, Thomas E.S. Kelly and Hans Ahwang are graduates from NAISDA Dance College, a school that specializes in Australian Indigenous dance. Accompanied by Carole Johnson, Artistic Director Emeritus and founder of NAISDA Dance College, they taught students in Modern Dance II and Dance Culture courses at UVA. They showcased contemporary Indigenous dance in two packed performances at Charlottesville’s McGuffey Art Center and led a dance workshop for thirty community members.
Click here to read an article on the NAISDA performance at McGuffey Art Center.