Meet the Niah McLeod x Koala Collection

Meet the Niah McLeod x Koala Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal Homewares Collection

One look at Niah McLeod’s delicate, poignant Aboriginal dot paintings and you’ll fall in love. We sure did – so much so that we collaborated with her to commit three of her artworks to textiles so you can bring them into your home. 

Meet Niah McLeod 

For 60,000 years, First Nations’ stories have passed through generations. Passed around the fire. Carved into the rock. Niah, a descendant of the Monero, Wandandian and Yuin people from south-eastern Australia, continues that storytelling tradition on canvas, connecting past and present, dot by dot. 

Say a big ol’ Koala hello to Niah McLeod – a First-Nations fine artist, Mum of two who calls the North Coast of New South Wales home. Our ears pricked up when we discovered Niah loves to paint from bed – a girl after our own hearts. 

Her stunning dot artworks have gained a serious following since she began exhibiting them in 2015, being selected for the Other Art Fair in Sydney that same year, and winning the Young Artist Award at the 2017 Paddington Art Prize. In 2016, Tourism Australia commissioned Niah to design their Indigenous logo, to boot. 

A (very!) limited-edition collaboration

And goodness gracious, are her artworks something to behold! So much so that we were compelled to partner with Niah to transfer her stories from the canvas onto textiles (that means cushions, bed linen and throw rugs in fancy pants terms) to bring these fine artworks straight into Aussie homes. 

This artist collaboration is a first of its kind for Koala and one we are super-duper proud of. The limited-edition range consists of five products, with only 980 units available. In total. When we said exclusive, we bloody well meant it. 

Alexandra Owen, Koala’s Director of Product Design, tells us: “Working with Niah has been a pleasure and an honour for our Sydney-based design team. Niah’s talent, attention to detail and commitment to social enterprise has been inspiring for us all to witness. 

Her striking and intricate artworks naturally lent themselves to our textiles/new homewares products. We worked closely with Niah and our master craftspeople in India to achieve a level of quality to match her artworks.”

Lucky for us, Niah totally digs the collaboration too. “I’m exceptionally proud of this partnership with Koala”, she says. And don’t we love to hear it!

“This collection is a tribute to my country and my land. Each piece tells the story of my ancestors. To work with Koala on bringing these pieces to life and into your home has been a total joy”.

Gupu Dreaming Duvet Set and Bana, Gugaa Throw from the Niah McLeod x Koala collection

Mastercrafted for your home

Through creating our exclusive homewares range in 2022, our in-house designers searched the globe for textile masters to bring their unique designs to life. No stone was left unturned when it came to discovering the most skilful craftsman and premium quality textiles.

Impressive, yes – but it didn’t stop there. A soft ecological footprint was at the forefront when designing our Homewares range, ensuring each decision was made as thoughtfully, responsibly and ethically as possible. And gosh darn are we proud of our range of totally unique rugs, throws and cushions. 

These same thoughtful tenants were intrinsic to designing the pieces in the Niah collection. The Aboriginal homewares line was intricately replicated from canvas to screen print, then masterfully handcrafted in India on our finest, sustainably-sourced luxury materials. Lovingly inspired by the Earth and produced with the Earth in mind. 

Our dedication to high-quality craftsmanship was at the forefront of our collaboration with Niah, as Alexandra explains: 

“We are so proud of our master craftsmen in India, who have a rich history of specialist textile making. Our handmade, responsibly sourced wool rugs are made by some of the most skilled artisans in the world, who take great pride in their work. 

Our products have been enhanced so much by these makers, with their skillsets adding extra detailing to rugs like Shear Bliss was hand tufted and knotted to give the design longevity and luxury.”

A connection to community 

You’re truly making a great decision when you decide to bring fine art into your home with a Niah McLeod x Koala purchase. By adding a piece of Niah’s collection to your home, you’ll be supporting Niah’s charity of choice, ID. Know Yourself. All profits from our collaboration will be donated to this charity, not Koala.

ID. Know Yourself is an Aboriginal-led organisation with the vision to create love, hope, and belonging so that every child can live with self-determination and towards a fulfilling life. The charity aims to break the cycle of intergenerational trauma by supporting Aboriginal children living in the out-of-homecare system.

Niah explains why she chose this charity to receive the profits of our collaboration: “ID. Know Yourself is doing important work to empower better lives for Aboriginal children. 

I feel strongly about ensuring future generations are given the opportunity to break cycles and foster healthier and happier lives in this country.“ 

Waraawara Floor Cushion, Gupu Dreaming Cushion, Bana, Gugaa Cushion and Throw

Meet the Niah McLeod x Koala Collection 

With only 980 units available across five truly beautiful products – you’re going to want to get in quick. As much as we could honestly talk about this collaboration all day (and night, and day), we’ll stop yakking and get to the line-up:

🖤 Bana, Gugaa 55cm Cushion and 130cm x 180cm Throw whose meaning is “Rain on Stringybark” 

💛 Gupu Dreaming 55cm Cushion and Duvet Cover Set whose meaning is “Water Dreaming” 

❤️ Waraawara 80cm Floor Cushion whose meaning is “Fishing Line String” 

Shop the Niah McLeod x Koala Collection here. 

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