International Women's Day with Aboriginal Artist Jade Akamarre
This International Women’s Day we could think of no better collaborator than Jade Akamarre, a fourth generation Aboriginal Artist forging her own path as a gallery owner and entrepreneur. Jade is the owner and operator of ‘Pwerle Aboriginal Art Gallery’, a 100% Aboriginal family-owned gallery, representing family members from the Atnwengerrp community.
Jade’s accolade list is long! She has been named one of South Australia’s most prominent Aboriginal artists. She has been featured in Elle Magazine and named one of Vogue’s ‘Game Changers’. In 2021 she was named one of InDaily’s ’40 under 40’ finalists and recently being appointed a board member of Brand SA to help promote South Australia to the world.
My name is Jade Torres, and my skin name is Jade Akamarre. I am a very proud Alyawarre woman from a community called ‘Atnwengerrp’. Atnwengerrp is located within a region called Utopia which is 270kms North-East of Alice Springs. I was born and raised in Adelaide but enjoyed many trips out to Atnwengerrp to visit my family throughout my childhood.
I established my gallery Pwerle Aboriginal Art Gallery at the end of 2015 which proudly represents all my families works from the Atnwengerrp community. There are currently 4 generations of us still painting. I am also a full time artist, and my Dreamtimes that have been handed down to me by my Nanna are titled ‘Dreaming in my great Grandmothers country’ and ‘Atnwengerrp - My Grandmothers country’.
What inspires me, that is a straightforward question for me - culture, family and the opportunity to give back to my community. I am extremely grateful to be in a position that I adore what I do for a living, it does not feel like work to me. I have the opportunity to be creative every day and feel honoured to be a strong role model for younger Aboriginal women. I am highly motivated to keep striving for success for both myself, my family, and my community.
.You created a piece specifically for our shoot! Tell us about this piece?
.When I saw the collection I would be shooting with, I was immediately drawn to the vibrant blue and the neutral tones throughout the range and allowed that to be a base point to start my piece. This artwork is titled ‘Atnwengerrp – My Great Grandmothers Country’ which I produced in honour of my Nanna, the late Barbara Weir. She taught me all about the art world and I was incredibly inspired by her for that special piece.
As a woman in business and in leadership what is your advice to someone taking the leap into business ownership?
Own your decisions, trust in your gut, take risks and bet on yourself. You are your biggest competition. I tend to stay in my own lane when making business decisions, this way I can keep my core values and principles at the forefront of my mind. As for advice: do not be afraid to ask for help or to lean on other women who are more experienced. Having strong mentors has been one of my biggest assets.
This IWD theme is Embracing Equity? What does that mean to you?
We need to embrace fairness, kindness and understand the importance of providing the same to all. I think it is incredibly important for us to understand equity before we understand equality. Every female should be able to access the same support and resources as each other. We have to be fair with one another to achieve this and with that, we can then embrace equality in every aspect of our lives.
Tell us about your love of fashion? What drives your fashion choices?
Fashion to me is another art form! it's an opportunity to express your personal sense of taste and style and allows you to approach the day with confidence. My fashion choices are usually driven by many aspects, I enjoy sourcing items that are pushing the boundaries of proportion and fit, while supporting local brands where I can. I love the Significant Other Denim Set from this shoot in particular, denim on denim with a great pair of heels is a tried-and-true formula.
You can view more of Jade and her family's artwork at Pwerle Aboriginal Art Gallery
You can follow Jade on Instagram at @JadeAkamarre