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We recently caught up with our good mate Nirvana Selwood as she ventures across Australia to chat about our latest collab, Tracks, and what life looks like for an artist on the road. 

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Our most recent artist capsule, Tracks, created in collaboration with long-time friend Nirvana Selwood, combines grunge and glam culture drawing inspiration from the digital world that envelops us. Consciously crafted from mindful recycled fabrics and spun in a monochrome palette of oversized tees, hoodies and socks detailed with pops of tulip, graffiti prints and diamante logos, this collection gives us an insight into Nirvana's creative world. After recently leaving the Afends fam to embark on an open-ended road trip around Australia, we got to catch up with Nirvana to chat about our collaboration and what life looks like on the road. 

You recently left the Afends family to travel around Australia, tell us everything – how’s life been?

Life on the road has been nothing short of amazing, however 'amazing' always comes with its adjustments. Like a lot of people, I felt like I needed a change, some fresh air, and a hike to get the juices flowing and that's what this Aus trip meant to me. Ironically, it's commonly the person, not the place that needs to change haha. The first month on the road was a huge transition not just physically but also mentally, as all the little things seemed to frustrate me. After resisting the elements and the process of change, I soon realised I was at the mercy of nature and the confines of our Prado and had to surrender to the environment around me.

We left Byron as La Niña kicked off and spent a solid two months in a rooftop tent enduring the rain. At times it was draining but I reached a point where I had to change my perspective and find peace with the weather. We started doing everything in the rain and found ways to work with it instead of resenting it. Hiking became a focus because the surf wasn't much chop, so we adjusted our route inland which was a refreshing experience to the surf coast we are used to. All the small daily tasks that take forever when camping became the highlight of my day, enjoying the process and feeling present as a result is why we go camping right? Plus the lack of signal is a great excuse to put the phone down, you feel disconnected yet connected all in one. We've been stationed in Melbourne for two months working and saving for our next leap into the desert.

Have you been creating art while on the road? If so, how have your travels inspired you?

I thought I would have too much time on this trip, and packed my art box accordingly but every day on the road has been very booked and busy. The rain didn't make it any easier either, so truthfully, there hasn't been as much creating as I would have liked. However, I have been quietly observing and caching inspiration for the next opportunity I get. Since having a base in Melbourne, I've been grateful to design some more pieces for Afends and have also been working on some more personal, slow-burning ideas which are exciting. I have gained inspiration to explore a sculpture medium and move parts of my practice into the 3D realm, as I have seen incredible animal burrows and shelters made of earth, debris and encrusted with shells on my hikes and I'm here for it.

Where is your favourite place you've been to so far & would you recommend it to anyone travelling Aus?

We're taking our time on this trip, so we've only been blessed to see a small part of Australia thus far, although some places, if not most, have made a memorable impression. The Warrumbungles, which is six hours directly west of Port Macquarie, has been a spiritual place for many thousands of years to the custodians of this land, the Kamilaroi, the Wiradjuri and the Weilwan aboriginal tribes. Wild jagged mountains, sunsets, biking and hiking. Another highlight was Wattamolla Beach in Sydney's Royal National Park - maybe it was just because it was the first sunny day we had in a month there, but we arrived for sunrise and had the whole place to ourselves. There's a waterfall that falls into a lagoon which then flows into a bay surrounded by Sydney's iconic cliffs. The water was aqua blue and life-giving.

Another hit; Wilson's Promontory A.K.A ('Wamoon' or 'Wamoom') is a very significant place for the Gunai/ Kurnai and the Boon Wurrung people. Surrounded by giant boulders, I felt like I was in prehistoric times. Great snorkelling, hiking, beaching and biking. Can't forget to mention the entirety of Tasmania. Everything has a different vibration to the mainland, Tassie is a special place with a deep history and a vast rugged landscape. MONA was a massive inspiration for me artistically and I highly recommend the dinner at the in-house restaurant, Faro for a wild ride. David Walsh has no limits.

Can you tell us a little background story about the graphics you designed for our latest capsule Tracks?

I wanted to create a capsule that combines grunge and glam culture inspired by the digital world that envelops us. I feel like there's a constant battle to achieve a balance between our authentic selves and the modern society we now live in. The pixelated rose relates to the subtle way we have been manipulated to see society through the digital lens. The graffiti represents the original grunge, the inner artist and raw self deep within us. Of course, there's always room for a diamante or two; representing the glamour of how this digital construct has been served to us; all wrapped in a sparkling, alluring package. We think we want it, need it and can't survive without it, despite all those thoughts not being our own anymore. In my opinion, it's evident that technology and the digital age are our next evolution as humans, I find peace in striving for moments of balance, however small they may be. Whether it's creating music, art, cooking, building, camping, fashion or exercising- It's important to honour your authentic process and thought.

We miss you heaps here at the HQ, what are your plans for the next little while?

I miss my Afends fam too, on the road I find myself reminiscing lots! But I will be back soon, good to mix things up a little bit, gets the people going. Nice to know I haven't been forgotten hehe. The next plan is to head into the desert for winter, hopefully, create some art, do lots of trekking and learn from the land and its people. At this stage, it's one step at a time.

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Artwork by @nirvana.tropicana

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