From Our Family to Yours: A Disney x Bluethumb Collaboration
What would Christmas be without family? As the silly season kicks off, we’ve teamed up with our friends at Disney Australia to help create family connections through painting and bring the Christmas spirit to as many of the nation’s homes as possible. Why not create your own Disney stars with your nearest and dearest, just like one of our Bluethumb family of artists have this year? Known for their colossal collaborative works and their connection to country, Kelly Taylor and her three daughters from Ceduna in South Australia are helping you get in the festive spirit this year by showing you how.
This artistic family have already earned themselves a number of accolades and moments of recognition. From features in notable publications such as Vogue Living, to daughter Kelilah Taylor-Ware winning the Abstract Award in this year’s Bluethumb Art Prize, their work, steeped in history and knowledge passed down through the family’s generations, is undeniably special.
How did your family painting start?
Me and T’keyah, my youngest daughter, were already painting together when my second-oldest daughter, Kelilah, started painting with us too. Just recently, my oldest daughter Taliyah has joined us. So now we’ve all been painting as a family for a while.
Who, or what, would your family consider to be your greatest influence?
My Nana Millie was my teacher. She always encouraged me to paint and passed many ancient stories down along the way. Following her example, I passed down what I learnt to my three daughters. I have been painting on and off for 29 years.
Your styles are incredibly unique, yet collective – the colour use and form are instantly recognisable! What informs your choice of colour?
Before I paint I like to mix colours that match the story or design. Our dot painting style, we call creeper dots, where we blend and overlap colours to bring out the beauty and eye-catching effect of our ancient art, merging with traditional and contemporary art.
How do collaborations work for you as a family? What is the significance for you?
A collaborative painting works very well with us! As a family, it brings us together even closer. We like to talk and have discussions about stories and ideas. It’s always good to have different opinions on whatever we are working together on!
I always remind my daughters before we start a collaboration to recognise the importance of certain symbols and what the storyline is before we start any painting.
Have there been any highlights in your artistic journeys so far?
Yes, we have a few highlights of our journey so far. Me and my daughter T’keyah have been interviewed by Vogue Living, then we entered the Royal Flying Doctors Competition as a mother-daughter duo, where we were chosen to create a design for the new range of RFDS uniforms to reflect their role in supporting remote communities.
Also we entered a postcard competition and were chosen as a mother-daughter-duo again to create an artwork that will be used on Country Arts SA greeting cards and sent across the nation. My second-oldest daughter won the Bluethumb Abstract Award this year. The big highlight this year [for me] would be that [I] was able to paint with my three daughters. That’s very special to me as a mother.
How was your experience of collaborating on the Disney star? Can you tell us about how you approached it?
Collaborating with Disney was a very exciting experience and we had a lot of fun painting the Disney stars as a family.
Do you have any hopes for this coming year?
We hope in the coming year we can continue painting together as a family and have our very first Mother/Daughters exhibition – hopefully in Adelaide, once we can find the perfect exhibition space. We’re also looking at some very exciting collaborations for 2021!
These unique and personal stars will be coming to our gallery in Adelaide over the Christmas break! Why not pop in and see them for yourself before they head to Disney in the new year?
Or better still, make your own as a family and share your special moments on Instagram for the world to see using the hashtag #FromOurFamilyToYours. Don’t forget to tag @bluethumbart and @disneyaunz so we can see you masterpieces. We might even share them on our accounts!