We are proud to introduce a collection of high-performance fabric and wall covering designs by Walmatjarri Aboriginal artist, Jimmy Pike (c.1940-2002) - a surprising and refreshing interpretation of an indigenous genre.
Launching at DENFAIR 2019, the 'Desert Goes Digital' collection offers a contemporary interpretation of magical, timeless designs from an iconic indigenous artist.
Jimmy Pike was a Walmatjarri Aboriginal artist who loved to draw and paint his stories and observation’s. Born East of Japingka, an important jila or permanent waterhole in the Great Sandy Desert, he grew up as a hunter-gatherer. It was while working as a stockman that a cattle station manager named him Jimmy Pike - after Phar Lap’s jockey.
Jimmy learned to use Western art materials while in Fremantle Prison and had work exhibited in major Australian galleries even before his release. Jimmy’s ability to communicate as a painter, printmaker, textile designer, carver/ sculptor, storyteller, book illustrator, set designer and artistic collaborator, (namely with his wife Pat Lowe) will leave a legacy that will provide a touchstone through future generations.
Taking flora and fauna inspiration from his unique Australian desert life, Jimmy Pike utilised whatever medium he needed to express his stories in his art, and not necessarily traditional ones. Lino printing was a favourite medium and he had a passion for the vibrancy of felt tip pens.
Having been sent photos and scans of Jimmy’s artwork, our designers translated his art into repeatable prints for contemporary textile and wall coverings.
During the 1988 Bi Centenary a journalist asked Jimmy, “What do you think of the celebrations?” Jimmy responded, “I don't know much about it, but we've all got to work together.” Such a simple yet profound way of thinking seems even more poignant today.
Desert Designs, Jimmy Pike Trust
Desert Designs was founded in 1985 to promote Jimmy Pike’s art and design at the highest possible level. When asked about the new collaboration with Materialised, Stephen Culley says,
“This is how Pikes legacy will grow, as indeed will the depth of the Australian visual language.
Through Materialised’s commitment to excellence, a bridge is built between mainstream Australia and the consumer that will ensure the indigenous voice is understood… That its energy is maintained and celebrated, destined to grow ever stronger.”
Materialised are proud to collaborate with Desert Designs and bring Jimmy’s incredible designs to the commercial textile and wall covering market.
In the words of Jimmy... “Tread softly, fire is your friend, protect the water and celebrate the universal laws of nature, travel and maintain the country, there’s plenty for all, continue to dream."
See you on Stand 211 at DENFAIR Melbourne for the launch! Or get in touch for a meeting or samples for your project.
With thanks to Steve Culley and Pat Lowe for their tremendous input and insight into this collection.