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Vixens reveal 2024 First Nations dress artwork

First Nations MV24 1140x568
3 weeks ago

The Melbourne Vixens have revealed their 2024 dress design for Suncorp Super Netball’s First Nations Round, featuring artwork from proud Kamilaroi woman, illustrator and artist Teagan Malcolm, who lives and paints on Wurundjeri Country.

Through a collaborative process in consultation with the Vixens' athletes and coaches, the club sought a design based on the theme ‘foundations’; a reflection of its connections on Wurundjeri Country.

Teagan outlines her process and the meaning behind the design:

“My work is a collaboration between traditional Aboriginal storytelling practices and modern graphic design and illustration techniques. Each piece is a reflection of contemporary families, communities and experiences. I hope that by capturing these stories through my art, I may preserve them for many generations.

For me, art is more than a personal joy – it’s a crucial component in the revitalisation and preservation of our culture, our language, and our stories.

I initiated the process by mapping out the foundational places of the Vixens, Netball Victoria, and John Cain Arena. I aimed to highlight the connection these locations have to the Wurundjeri and Boonwurrung lands on which they stand. I achieved this by incorporating the shapes of the surrounding parklands into the design.

Additionally, you'll notice the Yarra/Birrarung river winding through the piece. John Cain Arena and Netball Victoria stand side by side in this artwork, symbolising their interconnectedness. They are bound together by the love, passion, and dedication of the Vixens’ fans.

When I began reflecting on the 2024 theme of foundations, it was important for me to not only represent the physical spaces used by the Vixens but also to acknowledge what brings those spaces to life – people.

In the top left corner, you’ll find seven players, each representing a position on the court. In the opposite corner, the wider Vixens team is depicted, everyone who works tirelessly to keep the season running. The ‘U’ shape is used to symbolise people, as they are the shapes left behind in the sand after sitting and storytelling. In this piece, you can see Vixens fans, far and wide, represented by this symbol.

Many other elements of the artwork have been carefully chosen to symbolise joy and celebration, serving as a blessing for the team for a wonderful 2024 season.”

This year the league-wide First Nations Round will be celebrated across Rounds 7 and 13 of the SSN season, aligning with National Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC Week respectively.

The Vixens will wear the dress featuring Teagan’s design when they travel to Perth to face West Coast Fever this Sunday 26 May, and again when they host Fever at John Cain Arena on Sunday 7 July.

“It’s a privilege to participate in First Nations Round each year, and as a team we’ve loved having the opportunity to meet Teagan and learn about her story and her incredible art,” said Vixens captain Kate Moloney.

“First Nations Round is a chance to celebrate the world’s oldest continuous living culture on the big stage, but for us it’s also about the grassroots level – it’s about visibility, and creating more opportunities for First Nations people to play our game at all levels.”

“We’re proud to be able to play a small role in the work Netball Victoria does year-round to make sure our sport and our pathway is as accessible and welcoming as possible for First Nations netballers, and we hope we’ll do Teagan proud when we wear her amazing design on the weekend.”

Merchandise items featuring Teagan’s artwork are available for purchase. Player-worn and signed items will also be available for fans to purchase via auction following the team’s Round 13 match. All proceeds from the auction and merchandise sales will support Netball Victoria’s First Nations pathway programs.

Read more about the design and Teagan's process

Visit Teagan’s Instagram to learn more about her work

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