Bringing beauty to an ugly and brutal history, Layers of Blak presents the outcome of 11 Victorian First Nations designers who have participated in the 2nd year of the KHT’s Blak Design Program. In Layers of Blak, each designer presents a collection of jewellery reflecting their personal stories, layered with meaning – of healing, resilience, collaboration and empowerment. This is powerful storytelling through exquisite contemporary jewellery.
Participating First Nations designers are: Thelma Austin (Gunditjmara), Mandi Barton (Yorta Yorta, Barapa Barapa, Wemba Wemba), Lorraine Brigdale (Yorta Yorta), Nikki Brown (Bidjara), Deanne Gilson (Wadawurrung), Tammy Gilson (Wadawurrung), Elijah Money (Wiradjuri), Yasmin Silveira (Palawa), Sammy Trist (Taungurung), Dominic White (Palawa) and Tracy Wise (Barkindji Ngiyampaa Maligungigj).
Now in its second year, the KHT’s Blak Design Program is about supporting, promoting and celebrating First Nations cultural innovation within the Victorian design sector while providing a platform for nurturing sustainable, First Nations design practices. The Blak Design Program involved four weeks of an intensive jewellery making course created and delivered by established contemporary jewellers Blanche Tilden and Laura Deakin, with technical assistance from Lindy McSwan. KHT acknowledge RMIT University who generously provided the use of their jewellery studios enabling the participants to work on their pieces. KHT also acknowledge the outstanding support and mentoring provided by Blanche, Laura and Lindy.