Yankunytjatjara artist Linda Puna is presenting her collaboration with ethical fashion label Unreal Fur as part of her first solo exhibition Awari! (Wow!) at Alcaston Gallery in March 2022.
Linda has been working with Unreal Fur over the past 18 months to co-design a capsule collection of outerwear featuring the artist’s unique and bold brushwork.
This collaboration between Linda Puna and Unreal Fur was facilitated by Mimili Maku Arts, a contemporary art studio and non-profit enterprise owned and governed by a board of Anangu directors.
As part of the project, Linda directed a fashion shoot on country supporting young women in Mimili Community to develop skills in photography and videography and celebrating the diversity of First Nation creative expression.
Awari! (Wow!) is a showcase of Linda Puna’s iconic paintings, a series of unique screen prints on paper, as well as photography and video content created during the fashion shoot.
The Linda Puna x Unreal Fur collection will be available for sale for the first time as part of the exhibition launch event and available to shop online from Tuesday, 22nd of March.
The collection can be purchased online via Unreal Fur or through one of our retailers such as QAGOMA (Brisbane), GOCA (Yulara), AGNSW (Sydney), NGA (Canberra), AGWA (Perth), and Alcaston Gallery (Melbourne).
Group shot of Linda and models from Mimili Community during the fashion shoot on country.
From left to right: Josina Pumani, Linda Puna, Sheila Wangin, Peshwah Fielding, Emma Singer
Photo: Meg Hansen. Courtesy the models and Mimili Maku Arts.
“My name is Linda Puna. I am a Yankunytjatjara woman from the APY Lands, and carry this heritage proudly. I create unique paintings, in my distinctive and exciting style.
I’ve been creating unique works in my own aesthetic for many years. I paint elements of my country like witchetty grubs, water holes and trees. I also like to depict memories from my childhood, like watertanks from the outstations, music sticks, and even helicopters.
This year, I am presenting my own fashion line, jackets and coats designed in collaboration with Unreal Fur, and brought to life with my artwork. I am so excited about sharing my art on these jackets! It will bring joy to people in cities all around the world. I am happy to be showing the young women in my community what they can achieve through their art and by being proud in their culture!”
– Linda Puna, 2022
Linda Puna telling stories during the last night of the photo shoot in Mimili Community.
Photo: Meg Hansen. Courtesy the artist and Mimili Maku Arts.
About the artist
Linda Puna (*1974) is a Yankunytjatjara artist living in the remote community of Mimili on the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands.
Linda spent her formative years on her homeland around Park Well. Sharing a house with her cousins, sisters and parents, Linda grew up surrounded by skilled artisans and storytellers, learning about the stories that inform her paintings today by watching and listing to the women in her family carve punu (wooden sculptures). The men in Linda’s family were working as stockmen on the surrounding stations at the time, an experience that continues to imbue her love for loud country music, cowboys, and storytelling.
As one of the founding members of Mimili Maku Arts, Linda began bringing her stories to the canvas in 2006. Her paintings often combine Tjukurpa and figurative depictions of everyday community life.
As the first Anangu woman to live in a remote community whilst being dependent on an electric wheelchair, Linda shares a unique perspective on life in her artwork – full of joy, resilience, and strength. She continues to be an important and outspoken advocate for disability rights on the APY Lands.
Linda often depicts elements of the rocky desert country surrounding Mimili, referencing the Maku (witchetty grub) Tjukurpa. Her paintings combine these songlines with more figurative depictions of day-to-day objects such as Toyota 4WD vehicles, houses, cardboard boxes, windmills and water tanks. Linda uses bold brush strokes and strong colours to bring to life the reality of remote community life in a fearlessly honest and playful way.
Linda has exhibited widely both nationally and internationally, and was a finalist in the 2020 National Works on Paper Prize at the Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery. In 2022 she is celebrating her fashion debut as part of a collaboration with ethical fashion label Unreal Fur.
Contact Mimili Maku Arts manager Anna Wattler on firstname.lastname@example.org for media enquiries or interview requests.
More high-res photography and video can be provided upon request for media use.
Image 1: Margarey Butler and Sheila Wangin at Mimili Maku Arts.
Image 2: Sheila Wangin front and centre during our photo shoot on country for Linda Puna x Unreal Fur.
Image 3: Marie Campbell with Linda Puna’s paintings and the Mimili Maku Arts Toyota in Mimili Community.
Image 4: Margaret Churchill in the Awari! puffer jacket in Mimili Community.
Image 5: Sisters Peshwah and Priayangka Fielding modelling Linda’s jackets during the final night of our photoshoot.
Image 6: Emma Singer during the final night of the photo shoot on country.
Image 7: The ladies on top of the world at Mimili scrapyard. F.l.t.r.: Priayangka Fielding, Peshwah Fielding, Margaret Churchill, Margarey Butler, Sheila Wangin, Emma Singer.
Image 8: Sheila Wangin showing off the inyu fur jacket.
Image 9: Mimili youth modelling Linda Puna’s collection on country. F.l.t.r.: Nathaniel Yaiyai, Zeldon Fielding, Xavier Hampton, Travis Smith, Peshwah Fielding, Priayangka Fielding, Quentin Cooke.
All photos by Meg Hansen. Courtesy the artist, the models and Mimili Maku Arts.