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Friends of MAYDE: Cungelella Art

Friends of MAYDE: Cungelella Art

It’s been a dream of ours for a while now to create a towel that evokes not just a beautiful aesthetic, but also a deeper meaning. So we followed that dream and it led us to Cungelella Art – a group of four sisters passionate about Indigenous art, based in Mt Isa - Kalkatunga country. Glenda McCulloch created a beautiful work of art for us, which has been lovingly woven into a towel that is now its own work of art. Made using 100% natural cotton and Oeko-Tex certified yarn, the Kalkadoon Towel is a pinnacle for us, that we’re now proud to share with you all.

We spoke to Glenda to find out a little bit more about her homeland and coming together creatively with her sisters to make art, as well as the story behind the beautiful artwork they created that now lives on our Kalkadoon Towel.


Glenda and her three sisters, Cheryl, Dale and Jaunita.


Hi Glenda! You create beautiful indigenous Australian art with your sisters Juanita, Dale & Cheryl – tell us what made the four of you decide to come together creatively?

We have always loved each other’s company and we always seem to get involved in each other’s creativity so this was just a natural progression for us, and we all grew up together watching mum and dad and aunts, uncle and family painting and creating.



Can you tell us where the term ‘Cungelella’ comes from and what it means to you?

CUNGELELLA, quite simply put is our grandmothers name.


What is your favourite subject to paint?

We love to paint our homelands, Kalkatunga country.


You are all Kalkadoon women from Kalkatunga country – what is it about your homeland that most inspires your art?

We are most inspired by the colours of our country out here it’s all the reds, rust, ochres, mustards and pinks it’s absolutely beautiful.



Tell us the story behind the beautiful artwork you created for MAYDE, featuring on our limited edition MAYDE x Cungelella Art “Kalkadoon Towel”?

We incorporated in our artwork the purple clay rock faces, emu tracks, waterholes & meeting places, as well as spinifex to represent Kalkatunga country.


Indigenous and Aboriginal art often feature symbols which tell stories – can you tell us some of your favourite symbols to paint, and what they mean to you?

Spinifex is what we absolutely love to paint because we are surrounded by it everywhere here, it’s feels like home to us when we see the red desert plains covered in spinifex. We also love to paint symbols of different animals and plants that are native to this country.


Are there any artists that have inspired you or your work in the past? Do you play around with other mediums apart from paint?

We have always been inspired by our family, our parents, aunts & uncles. We only use acrylic. Our parents have used ochre to paint which is the traditional way to make paint.



What’s one thing you’d love people to know about Cungelella Art, and what’s next on the radar?

That we are a 100% aboriginal owned and operated family business, we paint and live on our traditional homelands, when customers are contacting us you are actually always talking to the artist, we have no middle man.


If one of our readers here has set their sights on Kalkatunga country (Mt. Isa region), what’s one place you recommend they see to make their visit unforgettable?

Painted rock would be the place.


One final question- three guests you’d love to invite to a dream dinner party? 

Oprah, Bob Marley & Ash Barty.


Thanks so much for your time, Glenda – we’re so excited about our new towel and honoured to have had you involved in the process  


Discover our collaboration with Cungelella Art here.


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