Meet Mick Harding
Mick Harding belongs to the Yowong-Illam-Baluk and Nattarak Baluk clans of the Taungurung people and is an artist that specialises in wood work, printmaking and giftware.
His business Ngarga Warendj Dancing Wombat produces high quality products that are made directly by the indigenous artist or through an ethical licensing agreement.
Mick understands the importance art has in Indigenous communities as a way for people to gain cultural and financial independence. By buying genuine products from indigenous artists Mick not only is able to support his children and community but the children and communities of all those artists he supports.
Mick works in collaboration with two Indigenous art code dealers- Alperstein Designs and Animalia. These relationships are both respectful and ethical, built on trust and developed to ensure transparency in the written licensing agreements. Mick stresses the importance of licensing his products rather then selling them as he says I've never sold my copyright to anybody. The reasons why I use licences are the designs I'm using, some of them similar to the way my old people expressed their connection to our Country. If I sell that to somebody in terms of the copyright no one else can use that then. If our people were using it in the past and we are using it today, then I want to make sure it is there for our children and our children's children into the future.'
We at County Culture are proud to support both Mick Harding and his collaboration with Alperstein Designs in the Dancing Wombat products we stock. This range features Mick's distinctive black and white line-work, depicting gum leaf, shield, wombat, and wedge take eagle designs. Each product has its own story to tell and that is why we love to stock this beautiful range.
Mick acknowledges that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists deserve protection to ensure that Indigenous art is made by Indigenous artists.' Thankfully, the importance of this is being acknowledged by both consumers and dealers who enter into ethical licensing agreements. It is up to us to see it, appreciate it and support it.