Colonial Lanes 2021

JAMES, Kait (Wadawurrung)

Registration number



JAMES, Kait (Wadawurrung)


Colonial Lanes

Production date



wool and cotton on printed cotton

Dimensions (H x W x D)

76 x 46 x 7 cm

Credit line

Purchased 2023
City of Melbourne Art and Heritage Collection
© Courtesy the artist and Neon Parc


Kait James, Colonial Lanes, 2021, embroidery, tea towel, souvenir


This artwork by Kait James was acquired by the Art and Heritage Collection in 2023.

Using the craft technique of punch needling, Kait James embroiders found materials now considered kitsch through their outdated representations of Indigenous people and culture. In this particular series, James has used Aboriginal calendar tea towels from the 1970s and 1980s. She subverts these representations with the addition of familiar pop-cultural references, and imagery relating to indigenous issues relevant to the tea towel’s calendar year, as well as to the present day. Through her work, James personally reflects on her Indigenous heritage as well as addresses the way non-Indigenous western culture has dominated Australia’s history and how Australia and the world perceives First Nations’ People.