Putting sole into his art

Shannon SmithAlbany Advertiser

Hailing from Gnowangrup, Aboriginal artist Peter Farmer is collaborating with international fashion designer Professor Jimmy Choo with the release of a high-end footwear design featuring his artwork.

Farmer said he didn’t know who Prof Choo was initially but was introduced to him by his friend Catherine Birch in 2015 when the designer held a masterclass at Curtin.

It will be a world-first for indigenous couture high heels. His artwork will feature on two separate shoe designs to be launched in Brisbane later this year.

Farmer has a strong background in the Great Southern.

“I am Minang on my father's side and proud of the connections throughout the South West,” he said.

“I grew up in Katanning and Narrogin as well as holidaying in Tambellup and Gnowangrup, where all of my father’s families hail from,” he said.

“My culture is something that has had a strong influence over my art practice but I didn’t want to just be known as an Aboriginal artist, but as an artist, which is why I wanted to diversify so much (kind of like thinking outside of the box).”

The artwork features the blue wren Aboriginal totem and Farmer said he was extremely proud to have his culture celebrated.

“The artwork on the shoe is of my family’s totem, the splendid blue wren, and the wildflowers atop of Bluff Knoll, where we travelled and camped at during my growing-up years”

Shoes by Malaysian designer Prof Choo can sell for hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars and are worn by the likes of Beyonce and Lady Gaga.

“I am passionate about Aboriginal (art) and most especially the contemporary stuff that is really pushing all of the boundaries,” Farmer said. “It is a pity that it is appreciated more internationally, but not as much locally.

“My art is not as popular at home as it has been abroad.”

Farmer has created a resort-wear line that is on show at tyhe Telstra Perth Fashion Festival.

The current collection at “ALTA MODA” featured at Fashion Showcase in Malaysia last year.

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