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The communities of Autex Acoustics® x Willie Weston

Australia, Country

May 01, 2023

Design, Interviews, News Article

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The Autex Acoustics® x Willie Weston collaboration provides an insight into some of the most remote and beautiful First Nations communities. As a profit-for-purpose organisation, Willie Weston has been working in partnership with First Nations artists to develop collections of fabrics and wallpapers for commercial and residential interiors. Their ambition is to celebrate the diverse artistic output of these artists and the remote communities that they come from.

The Autex Acoustics x Willie Weston range consists of eight designs in 21 colourways. Each design has been curated by an artist from a remote First Nations community. These towns are spread across Australia and provide a unique insight into life in these beautiful parts of our country. 


For example, Rosie Ngawarraye Ross hails from Ampilatwatja, in the Northern Territory and has her Sugarbag Dreaming design included in the collaboration. This small community consists of 515 people is off the beaten track and due to its remote location, can be difficult to access. If you decide to travel here by car it will take you around four hours if the road is in a reasonable condition. 

To learn more about Willie Weston’s relationship with First Nation communities, we talked to their co-founders, Jessica Booth and Laetitia Prunetti. Here is what they had to say.


What drew you towards the communities you work with?


We are initially drawn to artwork that we feel would translate beautifully into textiles or wallpaper or drawn to artists who make interesting work, rather than communities as a whole. Having said that, we have always wanted to showcase the diversity of art/design being created by First Nations artists across Australia and this of course is inextricably linked to the Country on which they work. The Northern Territory was a natural starting point for us as there is a concentration of artists and art production occurring there. But we are also currently developing collections with artists from Victoria and New South Wales, which is very exciting.

How has Willie Weston impacted the indigenous communities you work with?


A few years ago we were heartened to learn that one of the artists we work with was able to purchase a car with the payments she had received from working with us. As anyone who has ever visited a remote community would understand, cars are hugely important to people in these places, offering freedom of movement and access to services not available within the community. That was a proud moment for us.


While financial returns are obviously important, we also know that our products have been a great source of pride to artists and their communities. To assist artists in sharing their art and stories with broader audiences and to see their work translated onto high quality products, with respect and integrity. This is hugely important to them and to us.



What have you learnt about First Nations communities since establishing Willie Weston?


We have always known and are constantly reminded that many people in remote communities, including the ones we work with, face complex challenges in their day-to-day lives. Inequalities in living standards, healthcare, education, and employment are real and ongoing. We also know that these communities are resilient, innovative, and offer non-Indigenous Australians so much, in terms of the richness of their culture. We would all do well to take the time to connect with First Nations culture however we can. Hopefully this collaboration with Autex Acoustics will allow some more people to do so, through the beautiful designs we are so lucky to work with.



Image credits:
  • Bábbarra Designs women’s governance group, Ingrid Johanson
  • Durrmu Arts art centre, Durrmu Arts
  • Around Ampilatwatja community, Lara Damiani
  • Tiwi Designs art centre, Tiwi Design

Australia, Country

May 01, 2023

Design, Interviews, News Article

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