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DESIGN & STYLE

Deadly Threads: Where Did You Get That Shirt?

More than 190 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-designed singlets, t-shirts, polo shirts and jerseys are on display at the State Library of Queensland.
By Sarah Ward
March 27, 2021
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By Sarah Ward
March 27, 2021
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Some support sports teams. Others champion important causes. More than a few were designed to be worn in protest. They're the types of apparel on display at Deadly Threads: Where Did You Get That Shirt?, with the State Library of Queensland showcasing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-designed singlets, t-shirts, polo shirts and jerseys until Sunday, August 15.

More than 190 pieces of First Nations' clothing are on display, including pieces designed by artists Vernon Ah Kee, Richard Bell, and Libby Harward; shirts that celebrate Mabo Day and the 1992 Mabo decision; and boots worn by Johnathan Thurston. You can also peer at memorial shirts that were made for tombstone openings in the Torres Strait, as well as shirts that marked ten years of the Deadly Choices health checks. And yes, given the large number of items gracing SLQ's walls, the list goes on.

These aren't just ordinary threads. They're pieces that have been worn with pride, and to speak out, and in important moments. Among the pieces from the Mabo Family Collection, for instance, shirts worn by land rights campaigner Eddie Koiki Mabo feature.

If you're keen to check them out, Deadly Threads: Where Did You Get That Shirt? is on display daily from 10am–5pm, with free entry.

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