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In the lead up to the launch of the CONNECTED Collection on the 15.09.2022, we spoke with Aboriginal artist, Daisy Hill and Murkani Founder & Designer, Kiralee to learn more about this exciting project. 

The CONNECTED Collection features artworks created by Aboriginal Artist Daisy Hill that have been reimagined by Murkani into elevated pendant necklaces to be worn everyday. The pieces in this collection represent connection and are a celebration of our relationships with Mother Earth, with loved ones here and passed, with each other and with those who care for us. 

Daisy Hill is an Aboriginal artist and proud descendant of the Muruwari people, currently living on Yugambeh Country (Gold Coast).  In celebration of our First Nations people, this collection was conceived to honour the cultural traditions and knowledge that has been passed between generations for thousands of years.

Q How did this collaboration come about? 

Daisy: As a jewellery lover and avid fan of Murkani, I reached out to Kiralee with the idea of a collaboration. I knew that storytelling was a shared passion for both of us and felt that combining my art designs with Kiralee’s jewellery designs would be a match made in heaven. 

Kiralee: I’ve been wanting to do something in this space for a while. Daisy contacted me in November last year saying she’d been given the Murkani Empowerment necklace as a gift and that’s how she found us. I was so excited. I had seen Daisy’s artwork already and knew that I could interpret them into beautiful pieces of jewellery. I loved the idea of collaborating with an artist as I feel when 2 creative minds come together the overall result will be something quite amazing and unique. It’s been such a different experience than when I design on my own.

Q What does this collaboration mean to you? 

Kiralee: I love storytelling and the meanings behind the symbolism in Daisy’s artworks. Every stroke of Daisy’s work creates a visual story. Being able to take that and transform it into pieces of jewellery has been such a labour of love. I’ve enjoyed the collaborative process so much with Daisy, working to make sure that we represent the meaning of each artwork in a way that the wearer can relate to and that honours Daisy’s work.  I think the Daisy Hill collaboration is very Murkani as it’s about design, storytelling, and craftsmanship.

Daisy: The entire creation process with Kiralee has been very collaborative. It has been so special to be a part of every single step along the way. It’s been such a pleasure working alongside Kiralee and seeing these pieces come to life over the past six months. I feel so honoured to have my original artworks featured on these beautiful Murkani pendants and hope the wearer can connect with their meanings and carry these stories with them on their own journey. As with any piece of art, I hope the wearer will treasure their CONNECTED necklace for many years to come and maybe even pass it on for future generations to enjoy.

Q Why is the name “Connected” significant to the collection and you? 

Kiralee: Daisy and I really wanted to design pieces that resonated and connected with people.

We aimed to design pieces that connected the wearer with the giver but also to the land and I think this is what we’ve achieved. We kept working on different names but then kept coming back to this word CONNECTED as this is what the pieces do. They connect you to one another… the giver and the wearer. It’s very personal.

Daisy: Art is all about resonating with a story and feeling that sense of connection to a piece. When creating the artworks for the pieces in this collection, my aim was to use elements and symbols that connect the wearer closer to themselves, to Mother Earth and to their loved ones.

Q How has this collaboration been different compared to other collaborations? 

Kiralee: We have only done one other collaboration of this kind and it was a very different experience to this one. This collaboration has been far more involved and intense…in a good way. Daisy and I have worked very closely on the symbolism and meaning of each piece, the reasons for giving these pieces as well as the interpretation of her art into a jewellery form. It’s been very hands on and fun. I’ve loved the process.

Daisy: Seeing my art on jewellery is a first for me! It’s a very unique medium and one I’ve been wanting to explore for a long time. This collaboration has been extremely hands-on, a passion project from the heart and one I’ve been able to learn so much from.

Q What are the different gifting opportunities for loved ones in this collection? 

Daisy: All of the pieces in the CONNECTED collection were conceived with both the giver and receiver in mind. There are so many opportunities to spark the feelings of connection to oneself and Mother Earth with Sun Spirit, to loved ones here and passed with Rainbow spirit, to each other with Kindred and to those who care for us with Nurturer.

Q Daisy, how would you describe your style of artwork? 

Daisy: My art style can be described as contemporary and intuitive. My painting process is deeply spiritual, and my work is rooted in a connection to the Motherland – the trees, water, sand, sun, earth and animals.

Q Kiralee, how did you want to incorporate Daisy art style into your jewellery design? 

Kiralee: I wanted to honour Daisy’s artwork so we represented it authentically, but also design in a way to ensure each piece represents Murkani. A Murkani wearer needs to be able to look at each piece of jewellery we create and identify it as a piece of Murkani.

I think we have achieved this through the use of the organic pendant shapes that lent themselves to each design as well as the matt finish with semi-precious stones. It was all about the jewellery shapes and embossing techniques working with Daisy’s artwork.

Q Some of the necklaces feature a different gemstone, what is the significance of each of the different gemstones that you chose for each of the designs? 

Kiralee: We chose gemstones that resonated with the meaning of each design. For example, the Sun Spirit pendant features Citrine which is a stone that is joyous and bright, like the energy from the Sun Spirit herself.

Q Of the four designs, which resonates with you the most and why? 

Kiralee: I really love the Nurturer. I think because I am a mother, I can really relate to it but also, I love its organic shape and symbolism. But what I also love about it is that its not limited to just the mother and child relationship. It could be for a grandmother, an aunt or just a special adult in your life that has meant a lot to you, and I think this is really important as families have changed now and we wanted it to be for everyone.

Daisy: My favourite necklace design would have to be Sun Spirit. My name, Daisy, means ‘the day’s eye’ and relates to the Sun. I love what she represents – hope, opportunity, healing and gratitude. I love painting the Sun, she has become a signature design of mine and is probably some of my most sought-after work.

$5 from each necklace sold from the CONNECTED Collection will be donated to the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation (AIEF). AIEF was established in 2008 in response to community demand from Indigenous families who choose to enrol their children in boarding schools. AIEF awards scholarships for up to six years of secondary schooling based on financial need, student enthusiasm and parental support. An AIEF Scholarship covers boarding and tuition; incidentals such as uniforms, books, extra-curricular activities, camps and excursions; and post-school transition support. The AIEF Scholarship Program provides funding support to increase the number of scholarship opportunities at their Partner Schools. AIEF defines success as First Nations students’ completion of Year12 and a successful transition to further tertiary studies or employment.

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