The work of renowned Anangu Pitjantjatjara artist and Ngangkari healer Betty Muffler will be featured on the September cover of the iconic fashion magazine Vogue.
The magazine commissioned Ms Muffler to paint Ngangkari Ngura (Healing Country) as part of a campaign to spread a message of hope during the global coronavirus pandemic.
It is the first time in the magazine's 60 year history that an original artwork will feature on the cover.
“I’m so happy for my painting to be on the cover of Vogue Australia!" Ms Muffler said in a written statement.
"I’ve been working for a very a long time as a Ngangkari and an artist, and I can’t believe my artwork is going to be on the magazine.
"Through my paintings you can see my Ngangkari work: watching over people and also looking after Country. My Country. This place is very important – we all need to look after each other and respect our home.”
The editors of Vogue met virtually in April to discuss how they could work together to offer readers a message of optimism and as a result, the word ‘hope’ appears on each of Vogue’s 26 specially commissioned September issues published around the world.
“We worked closely with the National Gallery of Australia to commission Betty, who when the world went into lockdown, painted to heal herself, her people, and her Country,” said Edwina McCann, editor-in-chief at Vogue Australia.
"Our heartfelt thanks to Betty for believing Vogue is a deserving home for her work, and message. The artwork has been hung and gifted to the Gallery, and therefore to all Australians.”
The National Gallery of Australia's curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Kelli Cole told NITV Radio it has been an exciting collaboration.
"We're really lucky to be part of this project. The fact that they chose an Aboriginal artist, and a female artist, I think it shows our future and the way forward for our people, so it's very exciting," said Ms Cole.
"When you're looking at that painting, you're looking at our Dreaming stories and how Betty and her family would move across country. So it's this beautiful spider web of Dreaming stories.
"It's a proud moment for our people. We are just so happy for Betty to be on the cover and for our people to be recognised."
Vogue Australia’s September issue goes on sale next week.
Betty Muffler’s Ngangkari Ngura (Healing Country) is now on display at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.