On Friday, March 24, Louis Vuitton opened the doors to its newest Australian boutique. In the centre of Queen St, Brisbane, the newly imagined store – which offers a selection of the Maison's men's and women's ready-to-wear, shoes, leather goods, accessories, watches & jewellery, fragrance and Objets Nomads – occupies three levels of the emblematic National Australia bank heritage building.
Since its first Ready-to-Wear collection, the House of Louis Vuitton has been fostering a relationship with the art world, meeting at the intersection of design and artistic expression, and producing some of the most seminal artist collaborations that fashion has ever seen. For the opening of the Louis Vuitton Brisbane store, the Maison continues this dialogue by featuring a range of artwork and furniture from local artists and designers. Amongst them, is Otis Hope Carey, Edward Lincare, George Hall, Khai Liew, Gustave Xavier and Thomas Lentini.
The foremost artist showcasing their work is Otis Hope Carey, whose work, some of which is in collaboration with Shaun Daniel Allen (Shal), is on display throughout the store. Most notably, is a custom painted mural that sits on the staircase and its surrounds between the ground floor and basement. Taking over two weeks to paint, the piece acts as an interpretation of Carey's Gumbaynggirr clan totem, Gaagal (the ocean).
Further to this work, is a collection of paintings installed on the mezzanine that overlooks the womenswear offering, acting as a gallery space which will rotate artists throughout the year. The first works have been created together by Carey and Shaun Daniel Allen, in collaboration with China Heights Gallery.
Titled, where the river meets the ocean, the collection of works weave together both artists and close friends styles, intertwining their stories of resilience, pride, cultural heritage and connection with each other and the land through the practice of layering their distinct brush and dot work. The pieces pay homage to the vitality of the ocean and the healing properties of the waterways on Country. For each of the artists, water is an integral part to both their practice and lives, informing their styles in individual ways.
Each work's base layer has been painted by either Carey or Allen, the top layer then completed by the alternate artist, creating a woven quality both visually and thematically; communicating both a collective identity forged by the two, and giving viewers insight into each artist's most distinct examples of personal expression and style.