Menu toggle

National Museum of Australia

Where our stories come alive

Collection Explorer

4

Doolagahs Dark Water Dreaming

2000.0033.0029

Doolagahs Dark Water Dreaming

Object information

Physical description

Navy blue cotton adults t-shirt with purple, blue and white print on left chest, text "Doolagahs/ Dark Water Dreaming/ Australia". Blue print along left shoulder seam, text "Koori Surf Art". Red and black print of Doolagahs logo on right sleeve, print features an abstract surfer on a wave and text, "DOOLAGAHS/ PROTECT RESPECT/ AUSTRALIA". Identical print enlarged on reverse. Large green, purple, yellow and white print on reverse with text "DARK WATER/ DOOLAGAHS/ DREAMING".

Statement of significance

The Doolagahs Indigenous Designs Aboriginal surfwear and surfboard are the products of Australia's first Aboriginal owned surfwear company. The Company began in the 90's through a chance meeting with the Aboriginal owner and designer whilst surfing. The company closed operations in 2002 and the clothing is no longer available.

The surfwear reflects designs from their summer of 2000 collection and primarily features the signatory Doolagah hairy man and native flora from the coast. There are sixteen T-shirts, 1 shirt, 1 pair of shorts, 1 pair of bathers, 1 rash vest, 2 bucket hats, 1 packing box, 1 information board and several clothing labels and tags. All clothing is 100% designed and made in Australia.

The surfboard was designed and painted by one of the owners of Doolagahs, Shayne Martin who, along with the other owners, express a close connection to the coast, a love of surfing and a desire to produce quality contemporary Aboriginal art with 'classic' surfwear. The commissioned surfboard features an Aboriginal-styled stingray which is an important totem (or symbol) for the artist and expresses his deep knowledge and understanding of the creatures of the sea. The stingray is done in earthy colours of brown, white, black and blue.

Object information

Back to top