Indigenous Australian artwork featured on new glasses collection

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A new collection of frames that showcases and directly supports the work of Australian Indigenous artists has been released.

Jukurrpa Designs has launched a collection of eight glasses frames inspired by artwork from the Warlukurlangu Aboriginal artists located in the Central Australia Desert.

Each pair of frames is inspired by a specific painting and comes with a matching microfibre cloth printed with the original artwork plus a card with a bio of the artist and the meaning of their painting. Ten per cent of all profits are to go back to the Warlukurlangu community.

As reported in the National Indigenous Times, the collection took nearly three years to create, and now head designer Murray O’Keeffe is hoping the Australian public will support their brand which is about more than just the frames.

“I really want to show the world, starting with Australia, just how beautiful the artwork is and just how amazing these artists are and the story behind the artwork,” he said.

Originally from Ireland, Mr O’Keeffe comes from a family of optometrists dating back to 1880.

Mr O’Keeffe said he and his business partner believed spectacle frames would be a unique platform to showcase Indigenous artwork.

“Local artists license to a lot of people who put the painting designs on scarfs, ties … and look really beautiful, so I thought if we can put them on a spectacle frame and do it right and do it high quality I think it would look amazing,” he said.

They nearly gave up on the concept because it was proving to be too expensive, but Mr O’Keeffe kept persisting, and eventually landed a license agreement with the Warlukurlangu community.

Mr O’Keeffe said he then faced the struggle of choosing which artwork to use and how to best represent it with his frames.

“To choose those eight designs I went through about 60 to 80 paintings, some were a bit more suitable for kids and some were too big to put on a frame.”

The frames retail for $299 and feature high-quality materials such as Mazzucchelli acetate and Japanese titanium. The frames are available for order online here.

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