The Indigenous Jewellery Project (IJP) is a nation-wide Indigenous Australian contemporary jewellery project, working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander owned art centres across Australia, comprising research, workshops, photography, films, and exhibitions.

The Indigenous Jewellery Project was created by McCulloch & McCulloch co-director Emily McCulloch Childs in order to

-help traditional Indigenous jewellers maintain, develop and upskill their practice, through workshops with IJP founding curator/project manager Emily McCulloch Childs and contemporary jewellery teachers

-work towards exhibitions in both Aboriginal art galleries and Contemporary Craft galleries, in both the commercial and public gallery sectors

-educate public perception about the significance of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander jewellery, through research and documentation and through helping jewellers maintain traditional jewellery knowledge, and the Aboriginal art industry about contemporary jewellery as a significant category of art practice

-create a space for existing and developing Indigenous jewellers to maintain and develop their practice in a professional capacity

-introduce new skills and mediums to help jewellers develop their practice

-help bring the worlds of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander art and contemporary craft closer together

Art Centres

IJP works with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander owned art and cultural centres across Australia. To date these have included Erub Erwer Meta in the Torres Strait Islands, Ikuntji Artists in Haasts Bluff, Northern Territory, Ernabella Arts in the APY Lands, South Australia, Buku-Larrnggay Mulka in Yirrkala, NE Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, Gab Titui Cultural Centre, Torres Strait Islands, Queensland and Kemarre Arts, Canberra, A.C.T.

We have run workshops with artist Kate Rohde and contemporary jeweller & UNSW lecturer Melinda Young and been involved in many exhibitions including at the JamFactory, Adelaide, Northern Centre for Contemporary Art, Darwin, National Contemporary Jewellery Award, Griffith Regional Gallery and touring to Sturt Centre for Design, NSW, Stanley Street Galleries, Sydney, Craft ACT, Canberra, Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair, Desert Mob, Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs, the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin, Stanley Street Gallery, Sydney, Contemporary Wearables, Toowamba Regional Gallery, Artitja Fine Art & The City of Perth, WA, Aboriginal Bush Traders, Darwin, From Country to Couture: DAAF Fashion Parade, Darwin, Australian Design Centre, Sydney and Radiant Pavilion Contemporary Jewellery and Object Biennial, Melbourne. 


Recent Projects

Emily Beckley: Susueri

artisan, Brisbane, Queensland.

21 September - 9 November
this exhibition Beckley explores the tradition and her own innovation of
Susueri, or necklace, in an extinct language of Mer,Torres Strait Islands. 

Radiant Pavilion 2019

In September 2019 The Indigenous Jewellery Project exhibited a survey exhibition as part of Radiant Pavilion Contemporary Jewellery & Object Biennial.

Held in Melbourne, this event is the largest contemporary jewellery event in the Southern Hemisphere and featured 60 exhibitions. Held at Anna Varendorff's new gallery space in The Nicholas Building, this exhibition was the first retrospective of Australian contemporary jewellery from both remote and urban Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander artist jewellers across Australia and included work from three IJP projects.

Listen to ABC interview here


Craft ACT, Kemarre Arts & ANU SOAD

In 2018 Craft ACT: Craft + Design Centre partnered with acclaimed visual artist and writer Jenni Kemarre Martiniello (Kemarre Arts) and The Indigenous Jewellery Project to help create opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and raise the profile of contemporary Indigenous art. 

Workshops were run at ANU School of Art & Design Jewellery & Object Studio with Mel Young teaching participants Krystal Hurst, Angie Davis, Emily Beckley, Jenni Kemarre Martiniello and Lyn Talbot, and with Jody Thompson assisting. A silversmithing workshop was also taught by silversmith Alison Jackson.

This project was made possible due to many generous donations and funding from Creative Partnerships Australia. Outcomes from the workshops were exhibited at Emerging Contemporaries 2019, Craft ACT.


Gamu Keub-Keub (Body Adornment): Gab Titui & The Indigenous Jewellery Project

In April, 2018, The Indigenous Jewellery Project ran a contemporary jewellery workshop with Melinda Young at Gab Titui Cultural Centre, Thursday Island, Torres Strait Islands, Queensland. 

Artists included Nancy Pilot Kiwat, Maryann Sebasio, Rittia Tapim, Angela Torenbeek, Laura Mooka, Edwin and Regina Turner, Matilda Nona, Rosaline Tomasina and Emily Beckley. 

Read about this project in Garland magazine

Read about Emily Beckley in Garland here


Bulay(i) Project
The Bulay(i) Project, with Buku-Larrnggay Mulka in Yirrkala, North East Arnhem Land. Bulay(i), meaning rich jewellery, gold, precious stones, bronze treasure (Yolŋu Matha language), is the first contemporary jewellery project held at this prestigious, internationally renowned art centre. Three workshops have been held with contemporary jeweller and UNSW lecturer Melinda Young, comprising a total of 40 Yolngu jewellers.

The project has included upskilling of traditional seed and shell bead jewellery, documentation, research and development, and introduction to new material skills such as lost wax for metals.

Read curator's essay here

Read about this project in Garland magazine



The Indigenous Jewellery Project has been supported from assistance by:

Australian Government Indigenous Visual Arts Industry Support/Australia Council for the Arts
Country Arts SA
The Australian Government's Indigenous Languages and Arts Program

Creative Partnerships Australia

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Image: Marrnyula Mununggurr, Djapu Clan Design Bark Painting Girring'Girring (Necklaces), Eucalyptus, ochre, silk. Bulay(i): Buku-Larrnggay Mulka & The Indigenous Jewellery Project, Australian Design Centre, 2017. Curated by Emily McCulloch Childs.