Kiya’s artwork in fashion

Saskia AdystiAlbany Advertiser
Young indigenous artist, Kiya Watts said she re-connected with her indigenous culture through her paintings.
Camera IconYoung indigenous artist, Kiya Watts said she re-connected with her indigenous culture through her paintings. Credit: Laurie Benson/Picture: Laurie Benson, Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

Stunning paintings by renowned Albany indigenous artist Kiya Watt will feature on the catwalk at this weekend’s Perth Fashion Festival at Yagan Square.

The Menang Gnudju Noongar woman said she was thrilled when she received the invitation from Deadly Denim owner Rebecca Barlow to collaborate in transforming her canvas paintings into modern denim pieces.

Deadly Denim works with Australian artists to create fashion with a socially conscious edge, such as recycled jackets, vests, and dresses, upcycled with Australian art fabric panels. The company shares indigenous culture, stories and connection through art and will launch its new line at the Perth Fashion Festival.

“I’ve done two canvases overall but they have compiled it into multiple prints. They used the art and made it into a denim jacket and denim dresses,” Watt said.

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“I’m really excited for this weekend because when I got into the art industry I felt like was just going to do art canvases, but with this I kind of branch out and do so many different things.

Some of Kiya’s artwork.
Camera IconSome of Kiya’s artwork.

“I loved doing the fabric with the Play School doll, Kiya, so it’s amazing that I can collaborate it into another fashion piece.”

Growing up as the daughter of a Stolen Generation survivor, Watt said her paintings gave her the opportunity to reconnect with her indigenous background.

Earlier this year, one of her artworks was incorporated into the first indigenous doll featured on Play School. Watt’s dot paintings will be showcased as part of the Perth Fashion Festival’s Indigenous Runway.

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