203mmX204mm, Paint on board, 2016

Universal Love at Mild Manners Gallery L1, 499 Crown St Surry Hills, NSW 2010. 6-8 Thursday the 4th of Feb. Essay By Annette Ekin : UNIVERSAL LOVE – ESSAY ‘The Land is Alive’ by Anette Ekin





The body becomes the storyteller. The minds behind Jedda Daisy CulleyDesert Designs found inspiration in the Dreamtime bird Mangkaja, along with the screen prints of artist Jimmy Pike, for their latest interpretive film. Co-directed by Cloudy Rhodes, with music by Cosmic Youth and Daniel Stricker and mesmeric moves from Waangenga Blanco and Yolanda Lowatta, it coincides with the launch of a new T-shirt collection and fresh website from the brand. Go on and let it move you.


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Jedda-Daisy Culley is an artist with a rich creative pedigree. Her father is Stephen Culley, an artist who, in the 1970s, formed iconic Desert Designs, an Australian textile print and lifestyle label founded with indigenous artist Jimmy Pike. The Culley family home became a creative hub where artists would often drop by and visit. As a child, Jedda-Daisy couldn’t imagine growing up and becoming anything but an artist, and took her future aspirations very seriously. ‘I would set up studios, working away at different drawings, paintings and sculptures for hours,’ she reminisces. This childhood fascination did not waver, and as a grown up Jedda-Daisy now works on her various creative projects from a studio in Sydney’s Surry Hills.

In her high school years, Jedda-Daisy went to study in Western Australia on an art scholarship, then onto COFA to complete a Master of Fine Arts. She’s been painting since she can remember, but things got a bit more serious when she graduated and began to exhibit her work. Her latest show Universal Love at Mild Manners, and includes a collection of vibrant expressive paintings inspired by the Australian landscape.

Alongside her art practice, Jedda-Daisy also co-directs Desert Designs, the brand that her father and Jimmy Pike started many decades ago. She says her involvement with the brand and its history with indigenous arts and culture has given her a deeper understanding of native Australian landscapes, inspiring her own practice.

‘I have been privileged to learn something of the intricacies of the desert landscape and the particularities of Aboriginal cosmology – the wisdom in how they view landscape in this county,’ Jedda-Daisy explains. ‘Jimmy’s visual archive has been a touchstone for me to enter this world and deepen my own practice and understanding of landscape.’