• Otto Sims and Brigida Stewart sewing. (Supplied)Source: Supplied
"It is a window of opportunity for me to showcase my art in fabric.” Designs by Indigenous artist Otto Sims are set to turn heads at this year’s Melbourne Cup Fashions on the Fields event.
21 Oct 2016 - 5:05 PM  UPDATED 21 Oct 2016 - 5:05 PM

With the help of Australian designers Amanda McMillan and Brigida Stewart, artwork by the Warlukurlangu artist will be transformed into a dress for one of Australia’s leading fashion competitions.

Otto Sims, from the Yuendumu art centre, is currently studying Visual Arts at the Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education.

He says this particular piece holds special significance.

“The design is part of my totem. It is an important totem, we call it ‘witi’. It belongs to the skin group of the Japaljarri and Jungarrayi.

“It's an important songline. I have a lot of respect for the totem that I have put on canvas."

"The privilege of putting it on fabric, which I have never done before, is a challenge."

Otto hopes to be a role model for other aspiring Indigenous artists. 

“We are trying to teach our young people, our young Indigenous people, to be successful in the art world. To try different avenues."

“The old people, the old artists before us, they worked really hard to give us these art centres so that we can work hard.”

Otto will travel to Melbourne to see his work on the runway at the Melbourne Cup Day Fashions on the Fields event on November 3.

Bankstown Elders' art featured in Sydney's Sculpture by the Sea
An artwork by a group of Bankstown Koorie Elders is on display at Sydney's annual Sculpture by the Sea exhibition. The exhibition spans from Bondi to Tamarama and will be open to the public for the next two weeks.
Slow fashion: model diversity couldn’t come sooner
COMMENT | The fashion world is rightfully criticised for its lack of diversity, with major designers refusing to cast models of colour. But through the work of advocates, a few select labels, and local and international models - change is afoot. Albeit slowly, writes Arrow 21.