This traditional Kashmiri handicraft vitally supplements an often fluctuating rural income. Wool is custom dyed to match the original artist's image and hand stitched onto a cotton base. Each cushion is backed with natural coloured cotton canvas, and closes with a zip.
These cushions are a joint venture between Better World Arts and Kaltjiti Arts, one of the art centres in the isolated Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands (APY Lands) in the remote north west corner of South Australia. Focusing on fine art instead of predictable commercialised Aboriginal images, this cross-cultural collaboration uses the powerful images from the artists of the APY Lands and the traditional cultural craft heritage of the Kashmir region.
Mitjili paints the Watiya Tjuta tree. Mitjili’s style is unique and recognisable. The Watiya Tjuta in Mitjilis paintings is her fathers Tjukurrpa (dreaming) in Ilyingaungau country (Gibson Desert). This was passed down to her by her mother, Tjunkayi Napaltjareri when story telling, using the same to draw the story as it is told in the traditional way. She remembers After I got married, my mother taught me my fathers Tjukurrpa in the sand, thats what Im painting on the canvas, a womens interpretation.
Better World Arts work with traditional artisans from remote regions in Kashmir, Peru, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Nepal (Tibetan refugees).
They work with Australian Aboriginal artists from remote communities across Australia, from Arnhem Land to Central and the Western Desert regions, from rural locations and from cities.
Artists benefit from royalties paid to them on a monthly basis. Art centres benefit from a substantial profit share paid on their investments. Artisans benefit by having culturally appropriate opportunities, they are able to supplement rural income by practising age old traditions in their own homes located in remote beautiful clean villages. BWA have created sustainable lives for artisans.
Better World Arts are members of the Fair Traders Association of Australia and New Zealand. The endorsement is a complex assessment of their operations and practice. Many of their suppliers are also endorsed Fair Traders.