While most of us were holding tea parties pretending to be princesses or putting out imaginary fires with the garden hose, Melanie Hava always knew what she wanted to do with her life. She was going to be an Aboriginal artist.
Seeking a way to connect and communicate with groups of people due to her deafness, Melanie, along with her sister, sought to create beautiful Indigenous art on both canvas and didgeridoos as a nod to her background.
Born into two very diverse cultures, that of the Austrian heritage from her father and the indigenous side from her mother, Melanie found somewhat of a home within the places her imagination took her to and the art she created from those visits.
Identifying through her mother's line as a Mamu Aboriginal woman, and a member of the Dugul-barra and Wari-barra family group from the Johnstone River catchment of the Wet Tropics of Far North Queensland and the adjoining Great Barrier Reef sea country, she has always drawn on these cultural influences to inspire her work. She particularly feels drawn to the reefs and rainforests that make up her hometown, and often uses them as the inspiration behind her pieces.
So it's no surprise that when she was approached by Maxwell & Williams in the hopes of featuring her designs as a part of their Aussie artists series, she knew she had to draw showcase the spirit of the rainforest and of the reef and land animals she grew up being inspired by.
When creating this range Melanie "took a lot of notice in the details of how the animals moved, particularly (the) birds", and found a "real connection" to them, paving the way for her to bring Australian elements and animals to life.
Her recently released collection, Jugaig-bana-wabu (Earth-Water-Rainforest), features coasters, tea towels, insulated drink bottles and mugs that are either suitable for everyday use or make perfect collector's items.
Constantly referencing her love of quiet places and the profound stillness within, the main message Melanie wants to convey through her artwork is that "nature has it's own way of being heard and that it's up to us to protect it for our future generations".
Help to spread the love of our native land and it's animals and pick up a piece from Melanie's range today. Shop Melanie Hava for Maxwell and Williams online or in-store!