What do you do after more than 30 years working with around 70 remote community art centres all around Australia? (see CV here) Why not start a social enterprise combining a passion for ethical business and fair-trade with a love of Indigenous fabric designs? An enterprise that will promote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander designs and culture and community owned art centres, generate livelihoods for Indigenous Australians and disabled and disadvantaged Cambodians
I am Felicity (aka Flick) Wright (on the left above dressed in white linen with a fantastic Ezariah Kelly print) and have been a textiles enthusiast (tragic!) since learning to sew at five years old. Over the decades I have both stumbled over and sought out opportunities to be involved with making and promoting beautiful fabrics. I have been especially lucky to spend my adult life, since 1986, around Indigenous Australian textiles – batiks, screen-printed and lino-printed fabrics, natural fibre weavings, ghost net weavings and more.
Pioneering social enterprises
Working with and being passionate about art centres since 1986 is the foundation upon which Flying Fox Fabrics is built. Working in the Indigenous arts sector as a manager, researcher, consultant, mentor, curator, entrepreneur and writer has given me an unique perspective and unparalleled experience.
Taking a break from Indigenous art I spent two years from August 2010 living in Phnom Penh working as a volunteer Management Adviser to a local NGO under the AVI (Australian Volunteers International) program. Whilst there I developed strong networks with the fair trade artisan organisations around Cambodia. I also did consulting for local social enterprises including Chi Phat Community Based Ecotourism and Conversations with Foreigners. I continued to be based in Phnom Penh throughout 2013 – 14 with my partner, returning to Injalak Arts in Australia for consulting work before moving back ‘home’ permanently in 2015. I was based in Gunbalanya in Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, as Mentor Manager of Injalak Arts and oversaw a number of ground-breaking fabric projects.