From a captivating amalgamation of alluring shapes and colours emerges an intricate image of the ceaseless ocean crashing against rock. This dynamic design encourages the eye to wonder and explore the elaborate symbolism of the pattern. This eye-catching visual is part of the new "Here Before" carpet collection – a collaboration between Dreamtime Flooring, a 100% Indigenous-owned business, and renowned carpet manufacturer GH Commercial.

Tradition meets technology

This new range reimagines the stories of celebrated Gunai Kurnai Country elder and artist, Aunty Sam Walker-Wilson of BNYM Indigenous Designs. A proud Yorta Yorta woman, Aunty Sam has been sharing her stories through hand-crafted pottery for over two decades now. In “Here Before” she swaps clay for the rich tapestry of flooring textiles to share these ancestral tales through a new medium.

The artist’s fascinating tales are brought to life with GH Commercial’s cutting-edge Designer Jet® and Pattern Perfect™ technologies. Designer Jet® is an Australian-made custom carpet technology which injects limitless colours and patterns directly into the carpet pile for exceptional detail and highly customisable designs, while Pattern Perfect™ allows for intricate, multicolour patterns and variable pile height for a truly textured look.

Tapestry of storytelling

In “Here Before”, these innovative manufacturing techniques depict Aunty Sam’s stories with unparalleled vibrancy and precision. Delving into the enduring wisdom of the Australian landscape and rich tradition of storytelling, each of the three distinct design ranges – Under the Scars, Stories of Time, and Above Water – yields a unique visual narrative.

Under the Scars: Earth’s inherent wisdom

Boasting two mesmerising patterns, “Under the Scars” turns its attention to the land. The "Cracked Earth" design resembles the fractured surface of a parched landscape, while "Earth's Canvas" reveals a rich tapestry of seasons written into the ground. These exceptionally detailed designs are augmented by shades like Jade, Amber or Granite, that range from warm, earthy tones and vibrant blues to cooler greys.

Stories of Time: From caves to coastal rocks

The "Sacred Stories" design portrays traditional linework found in ancestral caves. The alluring curvature of the pattern is reinforced by the refined shades of enduring stones – rich Moonstone, deep Basalt or the ethereal Smoky Quartz. "Against the Tide", on the other hand, captures the meeting of the ocean and the coastal rock, with soft colours like Reef, Seabed, Seagrass, and Coral rendered with remarkable precision by the Designer Jet® technology.

Above the Water: From sand to surf

"Sand Symbols" recalls the ephemeral messages First Nations People traced in the sand, with the enchanting rhythm of visual storytelling enlivened by colours like Sandstone, Dune or Kelp. The "Coastal Guardians" design honours a deep connection with the ocean's creatures and symbolises the harmony of balanced life. The grounding quality of the underwater animals is expressed through a selection of darker, more subdued hues, including Ducky, Flipper and Echo.

The depth of colours and intricacy of detail depict Aunt Sam’s stories and open up a world of creative possibilities from a design point of view. With palettes that range from soothing neutrals to vibrant hues, the collection offers incredible versatility, empowering designers to create spaces that evoke both serenity and the dynamic power of nature.

Pioneering partnership

Beyond its captivating beauty and rich cultural legacy, “Here Before” represents a new kind of partnership between Dreamtime Flooring and GH Commercial. Defined by collaboration, respect, knowledge sharing and commitment to social responsibility, this coming together is, in fact, the first of its kind within the Oceanic region.

The relationship goes back to 2022 when Josh Haddock, a proud Yorta Yorta man and Managing Director of Dreamtime Flooring, first launched the company. The goal of this union was to propel Dreamtime Flooring’s success and amplify First Nations artists' narratives. GH Commercial committed to sharing 150 years of manufacturing experience and business acumen, and Dreamtime Flooring became the global brand’s design collaborator, and exclusive distributor of the First Nations ranges.

“This partnership represents the evolution of GH Commercial,” says Josh. “A shift from mere business strategies to heartfelt responsibility. For me, it’s a hope that this step forward ripples across the corporate world, awakening others to the richness of First Nations cultures and appropriate engagement.”

Joel Williamson, National Commercial Sales Manager at GH Commercial echoes this sentiment. “We are here to break the mould as a large corporate business,” he says. “Our goal is to build on a foundation of collaboration and as the Dreamtime Flooring and GH Commercial partnership continues, each respective business grows and creates a stronger community of businesses, artists and support for social needs around our country.”

As a 100% Indigenous-owned business, Dreamtime Flooring channels proceeds back into Indigenous communities, and for every square metre sold from "Here Before," Dreamtime Flooring and GH Commercial each donate $1 annually to a designated Indigenous charity. In addition, investments in local First Nations communities through organisations like On-Country Pathways ensure this commitment translates into tangible impact.

Future of interior design

Launching exclusively through Dreamtime Flooring this May, the "Here Before" collection is a stunning example of what happens when art and innovation intersect to honour the unique narratives of the past and amplify them through new mediums. An embodiment of cultural recognition, collaboration and generosity of spirit, “Here Before” marks an important paradigm shift in the design world – a respectful celebration of Australia’s indigenous past is the only way to create a more sustainable future.