The Ghan invited Adelaide artist and maker Julie White to commemorate the rail journey's 90 years of operation with a custom scarf design and one-off dress, based off her experience riding from Darwin to Adelaide.
The Ghan celebrates 90 years with Julie White collaboration
To celebrate the 90th anniversary of experiential SA/NT rail journey, The Ghan, the train’s parent company, Journey Beyond, enlisted the talents of local maker Julie White, to commemorate the milestone birthday.
Julie was invited onto the train to experience the trip and, drawing from the Australian landscape as it unfurled throughout the journey’s 54 hours, create a signature scarf that tells the story of The Ghan.
The Julie White x The Ghan commemortive scarf is available for purchase at the Adelaide Parklands Terminal, and on the train.
Journey Beyond’s Artist-In-Residence Exhibition
Adelaide Parklands Terminal, Keswick 5035
Open to the public until August 2019
“It’s the first time I’ve done this kind of thing, making a scarf custom for a brand,” Julie says.
“I was just so lucky with how they embraced the openness of how I would interpret my experience of The Ghan, and the inspirations that would come to me, they were very open to whatever I would come up with. It felt like a very natural exchange.”
“This is perfect for The Ghan’s 90th because, obviously our guests do the experience and they come away with memories, but this captures the whole trip in something they can keep forever, so it’s a really nice memento for them to take away,” publicity and events manager at Journey Beyond, Caitlin Jones says.
Provided with an open brief, Julie’s illustrated textile work showcases the artist’s highlights of the journey, from termite mounds in Darwin, mango stalls in Katherine, the flora and fauna from Nitmiluk Gorge, Desert Park in Alice Springs, Manguri, Kanku-Breakaways, Coober Pedy, the Flinders Ranges, and through to Adelaide.
“It adds so much more to my practice, because I mainly design and produce my own line of accessories, but this has been such a wonderful experience to open myself up to new creative challenges,” Julie says.
“It’s just been so wonderful to get to know Journey Beyond and get to know their brand and how to interpret that through my signature… [They] really embraced my style.”
This is not the first collaboration between Julie and Journey Beyond; the company reached out initially to include some of her original scarfs in Journey Beyond’s uniform for the Australian Tourism Exchange, and later The Ghan incorporated Julie White designs into a range of products, including toiletry bags.
“We’ve got a bit of a Julie White collection happening now, and we sell it through the train shop at Adelaide Parklands Terminal,” Caitlin says.
The scarf design has also been used to create a one-off dress, made exclusively for the anniversary edition Journey Beyond Magazine. The dress is on display at the Adelaide Parklands Terminal as part of an exhibition of 10 South Australian and Northern Territory artists, each of whom have taken inspiration from The Ghan journey.
The exhibition is the product of Journey Beyond’s inaugural artist-in-residence program, and, alongside Julie, also features work from Anna Dowling, Daniel Connell, Haneen Martin, Kerryn Levy, Laurern Simeoni, Mervyn Rubuntja, Robert habel, Sam Gold, and Thom Buchanan. The works are available to be viewed until the exhibition closes in August.
Caitlin says it was important for Journey Beyond, as a company headquartered in Adelaide, and with a businesses that carries through South Australia and into the Northern Territory, to work with local artists for this project.
For Julie, the draw to the project was the mix of creative challenges, the trust Journey Beyond placed in her, and the experience itself.
“I’m always up for adventure, and that’s one of the most rewarding things as well, from this experience, is it’s offering adventure, and the most iconic Australian adventure. That was pretty thrilling,” she says.