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Artist in Residence Amarina Toby.

Continuing on the pathway of connection and collaboration, Nagnata launches a new Art+Activism t-shirt, working closely with Indigenous Bundjalung artist Amarina Toby. The collaboration further fosters Nagnata’s commitment to supporting First Nations led cultural educators, artists and changemakers.

The Art+Activism tee features hand-painted artworks and a poem by the artist illustrating her connection to Country in both English and traditional Bundjalung language. 

"To see this Bauln (river), which is such a major life vein to Bundjalung. To see it spotlighted by an internationally recognised brand and to be a part of a project that works with Bundjalung; from design to modelling to community care, makes me so excited for the future. Excited for the opportunities our next generation will have." - Amarina Toby

The tee is designed as a genderless relaxed style using 100% certified organic cotton screen-printed with water-based dyes. 

Poem by Amarina Toby 

"We come from the mountains, To drink from the rivers, And bathe in the ocean, From this land we were born, And to here we return."


Extending the tenets of the brand’s conscious design philosophy, a new venture is manifested with Nagnata’s Indigenous cultural brand consultant Ella Bancroft. Ella is the founder of the not-for-profit organisation ‘The Returning’. The Returning provides a place for all communities from all walks of life to come together to reset the nervous system through nature therapy programs and relearn the simple earth based skills that helped Indigenous people survive for thousands of years. The Returning is an all female and mostly Indigenous led charity that focuses on keeping culture alive and deepening connection to the land. Ella is a pioneer for The Decolonisation movement and has helped guide Nagnata towards acknowledging the history and trauma inflicted on Indigenous people, challenging the subconscious programming of our culture, and how we can be agents of meaningful change and take action to become better allies and heal together. 

We have learnt the importance of true connection with the local community and have chosen to focus our ongoing work to create Bulaan Galang Gali Na Gan Ngaa Leen Duu Bundjalung Art Residency in collaboration with Ella. All the proceeds of the Amarina Tee will be donated to the Bulaan Galang Gali Na Gan Ngaa Leen Duu program hosted by The Returning. The Bundjalung Art Residency project translates to Bulaan meaning ‘together’, Dalang Galii Naa meaning ‘artists’ and Gan Ngaa Leen Duu meaning ‘learning and sharing. 

The first retreat was held in October this year with 12 Indigenous artists coming together for a 5-day cultural immersion which included masterclasses with Otis Carey, Tania Marlow, Bronwyn Bancroft and Penny Evans. The artists are then mentored for 12 months post the residency and have three month milestones to support them professionally including a creative brand workshop with Nagnata and two group shows. The Returning also provides professional gallery partnerships that will continue to support the artists post residency.

Money raised from the t-shirt collaboration directly supports the artist's individual needs; whether that be supplies, travel cost, group exhibitions and other associated costs. Nagnata will be mentoring the artists through an in-depth workshop on how to work and directly collaborate with a fashion brand.

The program works towards empowering Indigenous artists and providing economic opportunities through creative collaboration whilst celebrating traditional crafts and culture. 

About the artist:

Amarina Toby is a Githabul (Western Bundjalung) multidisciplinary artist with bloodlines to Gaangalu, England and South-East Asia. Spending most of her life living on Githabul, in Western Bundjalung she draws inspiration from the stories of Country and how the land has changed over time. This can be seen in her signature style of topographical paintings, but also in her movements during her dance career and through the way she teaches her yoga classes. In her paintings, Amarina keeps sustainability in mind as she predominantly creates with earth pigments and recycled materials. She is the founder of Amarina AARI (Aboriginal Artist Run Initiative), a First Nations art gallery located in the heart of Lismore offering exhibitions, workshops and classes from Indigenous facilitators. 

A special thank you to Kris Cook, local Nyangbal and Bandjalang Gurii of the north coast of NSW , who translated Amarina’s poem to traditional language. A professional photographer who is passionate about documenting culture and the indigenous life, spending his time teaching the next generation cultural practices and language.

And thank you to our model Latahlia Hickling, a proud Githabul and Bundjalung country woman.

To support you can purchase a limited edition Art+Activism tee exclusively in-store and online

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