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Vogue Australia unveils first EVER front cover made by an Aboriginal artist

For the first time in its 60-year history Vogue Australia has featured an original artwork on its cover, made by a famed Aboriginal artist.

The design is titled Ngangkari Ngura – or Healing Country – and created by proud Pitjantjatjara woman and spiritual healer Betty Muffler.

‘I’m so happy for my painting to be on the cover of Vogue Australia,’ Muffler said.

‘I’ve been working for a very a long time as a Ngangkari and an artist, and I can’t believe my artwork is going to be on the magazine. Through my paintings you can see my Ngangkari work: watching over people and also looking after Country. 

‘My Country. This place is very important – we all need to look after each other and respect our home.’

For the first time in its 60-year history Vogue Australia has featured an original artwork on its cover (pictured)

For the first time in its 60-year history Vogue Australia has featured an original artwork on its cover (pictured)

Muffler’s paintings depict her connection to The Dreaming, her Country and her work as a spiritual healer.

The Vogue issue includes a detailed explanation of her upbringing in remote South Australia, her renowned powers as a spiritual healer, how she has dealt with the pandemic and how that has influenced her art. 

Edwina McCann, Vogue Australia’s editor-in-chief, said the September cover looks and feels like no other.

She said all the editors of Vogue met virtually in April to discuss how all 26 versions of the magazine could offer a message of hope during the pandemic. 

The beautiful design is titled Ngangkari Ngura - or Healing Country - and created by proud Pitjantjatjara woman and spiritual healer Betty Muffler (pictured)

The beautiful design is titled Ngangkari Ngura – or Healing Country – and created by proud Pitjantjatjara woman and spiritual healer Betty Muffler (pictured)

The global endeavour was spearheaded by Anna Wintour, the editor-in-chief of Vogue and artistic director for publishers Condé Nast. 

‘We worked closely with the National Gallery of Australia to commission Betty, who is renowned as a great painter. When the world went into lockdown, Betty painted to heal herself, her people, and her Country,’ McCann said.

‘Our heartfelt thanks to Betty for believing Vogue is a deserving home for her work, and message.’

She also thanked National Gallery of Australia’s director, Nick Mitzevich, for working with the magazine so they could commission two of Muffler’s artwork.

The artwork has been gifted to the gallery, with feature in the cover of the Australian issue and inside all other 25 issues. 

Last month's cover (pictured) featured model Adut Akech Bior and had a message of Unity, while highlighting the voices of Australia's youth

Last month’s cover (pictured) featured model Adut Akech Bior and had a message of Unity, while highlighting the voices of Australia’s youth

‘It’s my wish that now more Australians will know Betty’s name and appreciate her gifts, talent and story. I also want this issue to offer readers hope, too, as we work together to navigate and support one another through these difficult times,’ McCann said.

‘We hope to rebuild an even better and braver Australia, and we believe we will by harnessing the best of the Australian spirit together.’ 

Last month’s cover featured model Adut Akech Bior and had a message of Unity, while highlighting the voices of Australia’s youth. 

The issue hits the shelves on September 14.

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