Geelong Design Week exhibition secures top award in New York

February 14, 2024 BY

The Perpetual Pigments project, which culminated into an exhibition featuring artworks by First Nation artists, has won gold at the Anthem Awards. Photo: SUPPLIED

Deakin University’s ‘Perpetual Pigments: Sustainable Colour Continuous Culture’ exhibition has won gold at the Anthem Awards in New York.

The exhibition brought to light a unique partnership between First Nation artists and Deakin’s Institute for Frontier Materials.

This collaboration focused on the use of pioneering pigments derived from textile waste, demonstrating a sustainable approach to art.

By integrating these pigments, the project exemplified a circular economy model, merging environmental consciousness with cultural expression.

Hosted at Geelong Design Week 2023, the exhibition took place at Deakin University’s Geelong Waterfront Campus and highlighted the talents of First Nations artists such as Elly Chatfield, Brandi Salmon and Kiri Tawhai.

Ms Tawhai said it was a great experience.

“The Perpetual Pigments project was brilliant and represented the best combination of art and science,” Ms Tawhai said.

“To have that yarn that connects circular economy with First Nations ways of Knowing and sharing through visual storytelling, well it was just amazing to be a part of.”

Co-curator Dr Russell Kennedy highlighted the project’s significance.

“The aim was to practically explore the application of the recycled pigments discovered by Deakin University’s Institute for Frontier Materials,” he said.

“It clearly demonstrates how interdisciplinary knowledge sharing and cultural exchange can come together to produce better than expected outcomes.

“The Gold award for Innovation will certainly elevate awareness and further advance the conversation about the effective application of colour pigments extracted from textile waste.”

Mayor Trent Sullivan highlighted the project’s innovative approach to textile waste stating, “An award like this helps build Geelong’s clever and creative reputation on the world stage.”