Wilay Designs, made up of Jazz and Kristal Matthews, who are aboriginal artists and sisters living and working on Ngarrindjeri Country/South Australia. In 2019, they decided to start to share and sell their art. They find it heartwarming to be able to share their culture and love for art with the world. To share family stories through art and just to be able to express themselves. Blown away by the response, their art is loved and supported all over Australia and overseas.
In September, to raise awareness and funds for mitochondrial disease (mito), they decided to set a goal to walk 350km for the month! Jazz was going to walk it and Kristal was planning on supporting the journey.
Unfortunately, Jazz got unwell, so Kristal tapped in for the week and did the extra kms that Jazz wasn't able to do. "Like most things we do, we did this together. It was a great opportunity for us to share such an important message and it gave us the chance to unwind and explore more of Ngarrindjeri Country and Kaurna Country. We had some beautiful sunny days, and some freezing days that poured down in rain but we loved doing the walk".
They released a limited mito awareness print during September, with all proceeds being donated. For the print, they used their logo, which is of a Wilay (brushtail possum in their Ngunawal language) and representing their little brother LJ, who they would always call "our little possum". Unfortunately, they lost him to Leigh's Syndrome, a form of mito.
The second possum represents their family. "LJ being in the centre, symbolising him being the centre of everything we do. The lines around represent connection, support and hope. Below we have symbols for people, coming together and working alongside one another to be a source of comfort and strength. We had a goal of raising $500 and thanks to the support from our family, friends and all that support our art on Wilay Designs we were able to exceed that goal and reach $600!"
We are so grateful for the hard work of its supporters who continue to advocate and fundraise on behalf of Australians impacted by mito.