'Stolen': AFL club embroiled in Indigenous design furore

·3-min read
Artist Elle Campbell is pictured here with a painting that is the same as Port Adelaide's Indigenous jumper.
Artist Elle Campbell says Port Adelaide's Indigenous jumper is a design by her. Pic: Instagram

Port Adelaide are investigating claims their AFL Indigenous jumper design was stolen from a South Australian artist.

The bombshell development came after the club unveiled the special guernsey that was picked as the result of a competition asking high school students to submit their designs.

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The club said the 17-year-old who won the competition claimed she had spent months painting the design after taking inspiration from other artworks on social media.

“She told portadelaidefc.com.au it took two months to complete the artwork and it filled her with pride to know it would be on show on such a big stage,” the club said.

But artist Elle Campbell says the design is "my exact painting" and that she posted it on social media and put on display at an exhibition in May 2019.

Campbell even shared screenshots of her original post showing the painting from almost two years ago.

In a series of photos on her Instagram story, Campbell also shared a photo of herself alongside the painting in question as "proof" that it belonged to her.

Seen here, old Instagram posts from Elle Campbell about her Indigenous painting.
Elle Campbell claims the Indigenous design was featured 98 weeks ago on her Instagram story. Pic: Instagram

"Wow. This is MY painting, someone has submitted it as their own and PAFC are using it for their guernsey," Campbell wrote on Instagram.

"Feeling pretty heartbroken that another Aboriginal woman has stolen my artwork that not only means so much to me but is also one of my first paintings.

"The most heartbreaking part is wanting my art to be seen on my own merit, not because of something like this happening. That's now been taken away from me."

Port investigating Campbell's claims

All AFL clubs will wear Indigenous themed jumpers in Sir Doug Nicholls games in round 12 and 13 commencing on May 28.

Port is slated to wear the jumper against Fremantle on May 30 at Adelaide Oval but could be forced into a U-turn after launching an investigation into Campbell's comments.

"Port Adelaide is aware of allegations that surfaced on social media last night regarding the design of its Indigenous guernsey," the club said in a statement.

Seen here, artist Elle Campbell next to the painting at the centre of the Indigenous design drama.
Artist Elle Campbell claims the design that she painted was stolen by another artist. Pic: Instagram

"The club is investigating the allegations and will not make further comment until it has all the information at hand."

Winning artist Rigney, from Murray Bridge, said at the launch of the jumper it took her two months to finish her painting.

"I was so excited when my design was picked," she said.

"Knowing that it's going to be worn by the Power has made me and my family really happy and really proud.

"This is a big accomplishment for me to have so many people see my artwork."

with AAP

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