Is Rodarte a lightning rod for controversy or what!?
Less than two years after causing a stink with their Juarez makeup collection, a UN expert is calling out the Mulleavy sisters on their latest collection.
According to Megan Davis, the head of the University of New South Wales’ Indigenous Law Centre and member of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, Kate and Laura's A/W 2012 is offensive to Australia's Aboriginal culture.
Davis, a native Australian, explains:
"It is completely insensitive to Aboriginal art and spirituality and land and how they are inextricably linked. The sisters admit they have never been to Australia, so they must have had ‘inspiration’ from books, images, web or Aboriginal art, including 60,000 year old rock art…We know that these particular expressions, the rock art and dot paintings, are part of a religious Aboriginal system of knowledge and that there are cultural responsibilities for the protection and use of those images as well as custodial obligations.
As an Aboriginal lawyer I found the designs offensive. What I find more offensive is that one doesn’t enter into a cultural protocol with a particular [indigenous] group, particularly when you keep in mind the abject poverty that a lot of these groups live in in mostly remote Australia."
After hearing Megan Davis' comments, Rodarte quickly issued a statement to try and squash all the dramz:
"We deeply respect and admire the work of other artists. Through the appropriate channels, we licensed the Aboriginal artwork that influenced prints in our collection. As a result, the artists will share in proceeds of the pieces inspired by their work."
So they've thrown some money at them, but does that make it OK?
What do U think??? Sound off in the comments (below)!
[Image via AP Images.]
Tags: aboriginal art, australia, controversy, juarez, kate mulleavy, laura mulleavy, makeup collection, megan davis, offensive, rodarte, rodarte fall 2012, united nations, united nations permanent forum on indigenous issues, university of new south wales indigenous law centre