The Perpetual Pigments cocurators would like to thank Rangam and the Institute for Frontier Materials (IFM) team for the inviting us to join this amazing research project. The relationship builds on previous Circular Economy themed collaborations facilitated by Designmind Deakin’s International Design and Innovation Platform. Co-Directed by Prof. Tuba Kocaturk and Dr. Russell Kennedy, Designmind was established to align design conversations within the university but also to connect them externally with the Geelong’s UNESCO, City of Design agenda. The Perpetual Pigments project represents an exemplar for future relational, cross disciplinary research at Deakin University. The research project involved multiple Deakin stakeholders including IFM, the School of Communication and Creative Arts (SCCA), School of Architecture and Built environment (SABE) and current staff and Alumnus of the National Indigenous Knowledges Education Research Innovation (NIKERI) Institute.

Dr. Tonya Meyrick joined Dr. Russell Kennedy as the Chief investigators of the Perpetual Pigments/testing phase of the IFM research project, bringing her respected art, design and cultural research expertise to the project.

Tonya has a strong profile in the creative industries in Geelong and is past president of and board member of Creative Geelong. She is also a member of the UNESCO City of Design, Geelong Design Week curatorial committee in 2023.

Kennedy, Meyrick and Jacinta Kay formed the curatorial team for the Perpetual Pigments testing and exhibition components of the research. Jacinta, a Deakin lecturer, designer and accomplished artist/illustrator in her own right also worked with participating Gamilaroi artist, Elly Chatfield to expand and reinterpret her designs for other applications using the IFM developed pigments. The highly talented, Dennis Ioannou joined the production team as Exhibition Designer. Dennis created the branding and look and feel for the Perpetual Pigments exhibition as well as this exquisite exhibition catalogue.

It needs to be emphasised that this project transcends the usual expectations of an art exhibition. The primary purpose of Perpetual Pigments project was to test and document the performance of the IFM developed pigments with practicing artists. Due to the circular economy empirical objective of the research we thought it appropriate to invite First Nation artist to participate by creating artworks in response to the mantra of Sustainable Colour and Continuous Culture. This research and exhibition could not have taken place without the talented contributions from these eminent and emerging First Nation artists. The catalogue essay by A/Prof. Gabrielle Fletcher (Gundungurra) beautifully articulates the context and value of the artist participation.

The NIKERI Institute Director’s words of wisdom and insightful perspectives were greatly appreciated. We also acknowledge the industry partners, Textile Recyclers Australia and Rip Curl who were integral to the success of the project. Alban Piot, Group Development Manager of Rip Curl contributed greatly by producing T-Shirts printed with the IFM developed, recycled pigments.

Alban and Rip Curl also provided a surfboard as a prop for the T-Shirt shoot. Eora Woman and current Deakin Architecture student, Shay McMahon modelled the Rip Curl sponsored T-Shirt shoot which was professionally photographed by Deakin technical staff member April Brown. We hope visitors share our enthusiasm for the project and enjoy the cultural exploration, artistic beauty and the relational, circular economy narrative of this important art-meets-science project.