Fowler Talks: Publisher Textiles with Merrepen Art Centre
Stephanie Isaac-Newton is half of the duo behind Publisher Textiles and Papers, Australia’s largest manufacturer of hand-printed textiles and a hive of design and manufacturing, which employs traditional hand-printing methods to create wallpaper, fabrics, and clothing. Publisher Textiles’s extensive portfolio includes over 20 designs created in-house over the years, among them those conceived at seven Indigenous art centers in Australia’s Top End. You can see several Publisher Textiles pieces in our current exhibition, Aboriginal Screen-Printed Textiles from Australia’s Top End, on view through July 10.
Join the Fowler and Isaac-Newton to learn about Publisher Textiles’s printing process, from draft to production, and the different levels of service they offer to art centers, including co-development of clothing ranges. Kieren Karritpul and Cathy Laudenbach of Merrepen Art Centre will share their experiences of working with Publisher Textiles, and explain why their Aboriginal art center has chosen to engage a non-Indigenous company to print their designs.
Stephanie Isaac-Newton is co-owner of Publisher Textiles. Since 2015, she has managed their extensive library of Indigenous prints and maintained the company’s close working relationships within the Indigenous textile industry. She has created a range of service packages for artists and art centers, allowing them to select what is relevant to their production needs. She is also the main force behind Publisher Textiles’s clothing collaborations, selecting the prints, styles, and colors used in their ranges.
Kieren Karritpul has worked in painting, printmaking, fabric, and ceramics. His work can be found in major collections, including the National Gallery of Australia and Myer Collection and Artbank. He presented an example of his textile work as a gift to Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, during his visit to Darwin. Karritpul was the youngest director ever appointed to the Association of Northern, Kimberley and Arnhem Aboriginal Artists (ANKAAA). A young leader in his community, he still engages in traditional hunting and fishing practices.
Cathy Laudenbach is an artist, arts manager, and curator. She has exhibited nationally and internationally, and received numerous grants and awards for her work, which is held in Australian public and private collections. Laudenbach currently serves as manager of Merrepen Art Centre in the Daly River area. Previously, she has been a lecturer at the Australian National University and Charles Darwin University and has curated numerous public exhibitions.
The Fowler is honored to be a convening place for conversations, lectures, and readings that explore the many ways art creates meaning and defines purpose for people across the globe.
Image credit: Dress created by Publisher Textiles, 2017, incorporating Kunmadj (Dillybags) textile design by Linda Gurawana, 2007; screen print; cotton jersey and ink, including copper metallic ink; on loan from Bábbarra Women’s Centre. Photograph by Don Cole, 2020.