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Didi's Tribe

Didi’s Tribe is a collective of artists originally from India. The collective started as a project of Information and Cultural Exchange (ICE), an Arts and Community organisation based in Parramatta. The women from this collective joined the Didi’s Tribe project as part of the Multicultural Women’s Hub program. Learning how to create functional, beautiful ceramic ware inspired by traditional Indian motifs. This is their story.

Didi’s Tribe, which means Sister’s Tribe in Hindi, aims to become an artist run business and establish themselves as an enterprise creating and selling bespoke ceramic home-wares designed in tribal Indian art forms.

The collective has been training for nearly two years and is hoping now to sell their own creations in markets or other creative ventures. The inspiration for the designs comes from different Indian styles of painting and are a combination of Kalamkari, Madhubani, Ikkat and Bandini designs.

The group started in 2016 with 29 women and now 2 years later is made up of a smaller core group of women who have actively engaged with the business component. The ladies first met through workshops run in a local Public School, interested in the idea of making something creative and sharing their culture with the wider community.

The group was mentored and supported by Nicole Lister (Artist / Ceramicist) and Anamika (Design artist) under the Multicultural Women's Hub program produced by Yamane Fayed.

The women have been meeting every Tuesday since 2016 for 3 hours at I.C.E. in a meeting room which gets transformed into a makeshift "ceramic" studio. There is no kiln on the premises so Nicole fires the ceramics from her own kiln at home. They also made makeshift moulding and casting tables themselves when the Didi’s Tribe ladies gave it a try under the supervision of Nicole. With Anamika's guidance, they have been perfecting their designing skills ever since.

Speaking with the producer, Yamane Fayed, she says “I am passionate about working with diverse communities in Western Sydney and I highly value the impact of engaging communities through arts and creativity as I believe it's a tool for social change.”

“Didi's Tribe has been the star of the Multicultural Women's Hub for obvious reasons. It's an appealing high quality product which resonates with people as it reflects Indian culture.”

For me it's the fact that I can see a transformative change in the women I have worked with since the start of the project.

 

“There is a strong bond and connection that has been forming throughout our sessions and a sense of familiarity has been established. “

 

The women always state that this is the highlight of their week and that they always look forward to the next making session as it's become a passion for them beyond the enterprise side of things. 

Didi's Tribe is in full swing currently making products to be sold at three upcoming markets, two in Parramatta and one in Campbelltown. They are excited about the work ahead of them. The group is also working on their business plan to present it to a consultant in November so she can review it and guide them through the process of becoming a strong business entity.

You can find out more about Didi’s Tribe on the ICE Website or on their Facebook Page for upcoming Market appearances.