Lauren Jarrett and Melissa Greenwood, the women behind Deb and Andy’s stunning Indigenous artwork in their Block living area introduce us to their stunning 2022 art range.
How long have you been producing your art?
Mum (Lauren), one half of Miimi + Jiinda has been painting for most her life, and I’ve dabbled in art most of my life alongside mum, but I only really got serious about it six years ago. And I haven’t stopped painting since!
Where do you draw inspiration from?
Lauren: From our tribal lands and ancestral teachings passed down from grandmothers passed.
Melissa: From our strong line of matriarchs, my mothers and Grandmothers’ stories, our beautiful Gumbayngirr country and my life today as a modern-day Indigenous woman.
Miimi + Jiinda's art is a "symbolic portrayal of our interpretation of our Dreaming stories, and inspiration from nature."
Mirrinmi (BeHappy), from Miimi and Jiinda's 2022 art release, this painting is a reminder to be happy on whatever path you are on, because your path is your purpose. Everything happens for a reason to help you evolve as a soul, living a human experience.
How long does it take you to create a piece?
It depends on the size and content - it could be one week, or on the very large scale up to a couple of months. Sometimes we have 3-4 paintings going at the same time, to keep the inspiration flowing.
How would you describe your art?
It’s a symbolic portrayal of our interpretation of our Dreaming stories, and inspiration from nature. We paint with acrylics and in pastels, influenced by our feminine matriarchal line.
Miimi + Jiinda draw inspiration from "our strong line of matriarchs, my mothers and Grandmothers’ stories, our beautiful Gumbayngirr country and my life today as a modern-day Indigenous woman" Melissa tells Insider Style.
'Yuludarra' "is symbolic of our three hero ancestors in Gumbaynngirr culture." says Melissa and Lauren from Miimi and Jiinda.
How would you describe your personal aesthetic?
Earthy, natural, minimal. We are inspired by the beauty and texture of our traditional homelands - I love anything that is bright and bold that lightens up the senses.
How do you come up with a name for your artwork?
We use our beautiful Gumbayngirr language - it inspires all of our work.
"Buwaarrbugany (Childlike), This artwork show pieces of my childhood and encapsulates growing up a Goori girl on Country."
Andy and Deb's living room artwork had all three judges rejoicing!
How did your involvement in The Block come about?
Our artwork was featured in Deb and Andy’s living room - they contacted us through Instagram and asked for a commissioned painting. Andy is Biripi, and was in search of some Aboriginal art - we are Gumbayngirr, just a couple of hours from the Biripi Nation!
How did you feel when they reached out?
We were beyond excited and honoured to create this piece for Deb and Andy, and for it to be seen on Channel 9 for the rest of Australia to see! We hope that this encourages more First Nations art to be seen on The Block, showcasing our rich and beautiful culture. It’s truly an amazing feeling for our artwork/culture to be chosen, recognised and appreciated.
Are there any particular artists that inspire you?
Where do you like to create your art?
Nothing better than painting Country, on Country
Do you have a soundtrack you like to create to?
Xavier Rudd, Ben Howard, Vance Joy, Ziggy Alberts, Nora Jones and Baker Boy!
Lauren and Melissa are from “Saltwater Country”, their ancestral homelands are some of the most beautiful situated from the northern end of Byron Bay down to Kempsey in New South Wales.
What does a typical day look like for you?
No day is really the same in the Miimi + Jiinda studio - each day can vary so much! Some days we paint all day long and the room is covered in paintbrushes, paint, paint pens, wooden sticks and canvases… and some days are filled with office work, answering enquiries, shopping for supplies and sending orders. And some are spent walking on Country, collecting natural fibres for weaving and being inspired for our next painting.
How do you fit your art around life/kids?/work? Any tips?
Getting kids involved in art and creating helps - they can be entertained for hours, and you can share in the fun and creativity.
Lauren and Melissa pictured in their studio surrounded by their stunning original artworks.
Miimi and Jiinda have released some stunning art available online HERE
Shop Miimi and Jiinda's incredible range of art HERE