Celebrating the power of imagination to fast-track the potential of Indigenous kids, Australian-owned menswear brand, M.J Bale has collaborated with non-for-profit organisation, AIME, to produce an exclusive range of t-shirt and pocket squares designed by AIME students to support indigenous education.
Featuring designs by two young Indigenous artists from AIME's mentoring programs, the Italian woven pocket squares and Australian made t-shirts will be sold online at mjbale.com with 20 percent of each sale going directly to AIME and the artists to reinvest into community projects that unlock the potential of Indigenous kids.
The designs celebrate the beauty of the Australian landscape and the artists' relationship to the land.
Artist Iteka Ukarla Sanderson-Bromley – a student at the University of Adelaide, 2018 AIME graduate, and proud Adynyamamathan, Narungga & Yarluyandi woman- has made two pieces for the collection. In Hookina she depicts the traditional hunting and ceremonial grounds of Punkga Pudanha in Flinders Range, SA.
"Hookina is one of many springs in the Flinders Range's created by the Akurra (Rainbow Serpent)," explained Sanderson-Bromely.
Sanderson-Bromley celebrates the site's natural beauty and cultural significance, threatened by pastoralism and other developments.
"Me and my family want to see this significant site protected for our culture and for future generations".
In Our Meeting Place Sanderson-Bromley draws again on her Indigenous lineage in her painting of Ikara. A traditional meeting place for various language groups in the region, Sanderson-Bromley sees parallels between the site and AIME's Mentorship programs.
"Students from different schools, who are also from different language groups travel to meet together at AIME."
The artwork celebrates unity and strength through wholeness and connection.
Themes of wholeness and connection recur in Star Dreaming by 18-year old artist Billy Reynolds who paints the night sky as seen from Uluru. Employing techniques from traditional desert dot painting, he evokes humanity’s fascination with the world above and contemplates our place beneath it.
To improve education equity and create pathways for young Indigenous Australians, M.J. Bale will also launch and internship program to place AIME mentees across the business in 2021.