Boutique fabric brand Willie Weston has just launched two new product lines. Their much loved Tiwi and Ampilatwatja Collections are now available on natural fabrics – a 100% linen for soft furnishings and drapery and a luxurious heavyweight Belgian linen / cotton for residential upholstery – and wallpapers.
The wallpapers are suitable for both residential and commercial applications, building upon the brand’s existing commercial grade fabric offerings. As with all Willie Weston products, these new lines are printed in Australia.
Willie Weston is a social enterprise that works with Indigenous artists to create curated collections of fabrics and wallpapers for residential and commercial design settings.
Willie Weston pays artists for each metre produced, providing ongoing income streams outside their main art practice. In doing so, the brand supports the continuance of art production, and contributes to viable livelihoods, in communities across remote Australia.
Willie Weston’s ambition is to celebrate the diverse artistic output of Indigenous artists, to challenge preconceptions about Indigenous design, and to support its integration into our built environment.
The Artists behind the Collections Willie Weston’s new natural fabric and wallpaper ranges feature their distinctive Tiwi and Ampilatwatja Collections, which incorporate original artwork by Indigenous artists from the Tiwi Islands, in the Arafura Sea north of Darwin, and from Ampilatwatja, a remote desert community northeast of Alice Springs. The talented artists behind the designs are Jean Baptiste Apuatimi and Osmond Kantilla (Tiwi Collection), and Colleen Ngwarraye Morton and Rosie Ngwarraye Ross (Ampilatwatja Collection).
When developing collections, Willie Weston works in partnership with art centres – Indigenous owned, not-for-profit organisations, often located in remote communities. Art centres are vital to social, cultural and economic wellbeing, with art sales often providing the only source of income within a community.
Prior to launching Willie Weston, co-founders Jessica Booth and Laetitia Prunetti both completed Masters Degrees in Art Curatorship and developed curatorial careers. Jessica worked as a researcher and arts manager specialising in contemporary Indigenous art. She spent time in the Northern Territory with non-profit Indigenous arts organisation ANKAAA, tutored and lectured at the University of Melbourne and conducted research as part of a six-year study on the Indigenous art sector.
Laetitia worked as a curator, writer and project manager in contemporary non-Indigenous art, including as exhibitions assistant at Heide Museum of Modern Art and then as co-director of the Melbourne Art Fair in 2012. Looking to continue supporting artists whilst stepping outside the art world, Willie Weston was born.