WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that the following may contain images, story and voices of deceased, by and about persons. Discretion advised.
29 July 2021 // Francine Kickett
Francine Kickett, of the Wiilman Nyoongah Yorga peoples, was born in Narrogin, Western Australia in 1964 and raised in the Dryandra Woodlands near Cuballing. She belongs to three main family groups, the Humes, Thorns and Abdullahs, of Western Australia. In the mid 1970s her family moved to the eastern Perth suburbs of Belmont and Riverdale where she completed her schooling.
In 1997 Kickett graduated from Curtin University of Technology in Perth with an associate degree in Contemporary Aboriginal Art for which she specialised in textile designs and visual art. Her work is inspired by the colour and landscaped forms of the Nyoongah Boodja (or land) and she pays particular interest to the femininity of the local Indigenous flora and fauna and interpreting these forms (as well as issues relating to Nyoongah women) into contemporary art.
In I998, Francine was awarded the NAIDOC South West Artist of the Year award and in 2001 claimed the Indigenous Designer of the Year Award.
She was invited to present a paper on the History of Indigenous Fashion at the 2002 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander conference in Adelaide, South Australia and was included in the Brenda L. Croft curated exhibition 'South West Central: Indigenous Art from south Western Australia 1833-2002’ at the Art Gallery of Western Australia in 2003.
In 2009 Kickett enrolled in a Certificate III course in Visual Art and Contemporary Craft at the Kidogo Institute in Fremantle, which is run by artist Joanna Robertson. In June and July the same year, the students in this course exhibited their work at Kidogo Arthouse in the exhibition 'Moorditj Mob’.
Francine has presented internationally. She was the lead designer on invitation by Utusan Media at the Malaysian Fashion week and the Hong Kong Fashion week, where she launched her label BushWA designs to the world. Recently she collaborated with Kirrikin and showed as part of 'Intertwined' for the cultural festival for the 2018 Commonwealth Games. The purpose of Intertwined was to celebrate culture in fashion, art and dance through textiles and adornments.
An educator, mentor and facilitator, she has worked consistently to empower the next generation of Indigenous artists. This work has seen her teach into schools, universities, Aboriginal organisations and the prison system.
Francine continues to be a ground-breaking visual artist, textile and fashion design icon.