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.

“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,” Kelly explains.

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.

Summer Rain by Kelly Taylor tells the tale of the hot summertime; on some hot days as the rain fell, the elders of the community would let kids run around on the land and enjoy the summer rain.

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.

T’Keyah Ware putting her own personal flare to the Disney star project.

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.

“We hope what we paint for people is loved, treasured and our stories shared for many years to come,” Kelly says on her family’s collaborations.

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.

T’Keyah Ware and Kelly Taylor unveiled their commissioned work to launch the Flying Doctor’s NAIDOC Week celebrations last month. Credit: Royal Flying Doctor Service

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.

The winning entry of the Abstract award, Family Day Out by Kelilah Taylor-Ware.

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.

The family and their finished pieces! L-R: Kelilah, T’Keyah, Taliyah Taylor-Ware and mother Kelly Taylor

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!

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One Comment

  1. Sandra Messner. says:

    They are fabulous. What a grest idea. The colours on the stars are beautiful . I m going to do some ad well. That will go on the familys Christmas Tree. Thank you for Sharing. I will make one for my beautiful Millie who passed away yesterday. Sandra Messner.

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