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Deadly Threads

Shiloh Nakach wearing a Libby Harward designed "Already Occupied" shirt.

Deadly Threads

Where did you get that shirt?

This exhibition is in the past.
27 March - 10 October 2021
kuril dhagun

2 December 2021 - 23 January 2022
Cairns Art Gallery 

Deadly Threads is a showcase of singlets, shirts, polos and jerseys created by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples from across Queensland.

It explores the significance of these pieces as symbols of identity, celebration and unity. They have been developed to protest, commemorate special occasions and historical events and tell stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history and cultures.


What we wear is personal; it creates and reinforces our identity, our views and beliefs.

Shirts are created and worn during protests to convey support and opinions to a cause. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples often create items during times of protest as an act of defiance and solidarity.

Some of Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and activists have created items that are both text and picture based.

Semara Jose wearing Free the Flag shirt.
Man in traditional Indigenous headdress and Urab shirt


The creation of cultural shirts highlighting significant events including ceremonial tombstone unveilings, anniversaries, dance performances and family reunion shirts are prolific.


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have an exciting history of participating and succeeding on the sporting field. There are many First Nations Queenslanders who have had amazing careers and success in their respective sports. 

The success of First Nations sportspeople has enabled the rich history and culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to be highlighted and told and retold through shirts, jerseys, singlets and dresses. 

Woman wearing Indigenous sporting shirt and holding a bike


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