Port responds to artist’s plagiarism claims

The Power have responded to a South Australian artist’s claims that they plagiarised her artwork for their 2021 Indigenous guernsey.

Port Adelaide has admitted the design featured on its 2021 Indigenous guernsey was originally created by the Indigenous artist who accused the club of plagiarism on Friday.

The Power unveiled their Indigenous jumper this week, saying the artwork featured on it had been designed by a 17-year-old student as part of a competition for high schoolers.

On Friday, Indigenous artist Elle Campbell took to social media to refute these claims, alleging she had designed the artwork in 2019.

“I am deeply hurt by the use of this painting and the ‘artist’ claiming this work (to) be their own,” Campbell wrote on Instagram.

After announcing they would investigate her allegations, the Power corroborated Campbell’s version of events in a statement released Friday afternoon.

The statement revealed representatives from Port Adealide met with Campbell on Friday morning to discuss the matter.

“Port Adelaide has connected with all relevant parties in response to social media commentary relating to the club’s indigenous guernsey for Sir Doug Nicholls Round,” the club wrote.

“Port Adelaide can now confirm the artwork on the guernsey was originally designed by Aboriginal artist Elle Campbell for a 2019 exhibition at Flinders Medical Centre to celebrate NAIDOC week.”

Campbell said the club had her blessing to use the design for its Sir Doug Nicholls Round fixture on May 30. The artist will take no profit from the club’s use of her design, encouraging the Power to donate profits to initiatives aimed at Indigenous youth as had been originally planned.

Through Port Adelaide’s statement, Campbell also said she hoped no one would “hassle the student” who submitted the design to the club.

“Ms Campbell has been outstanding throughout this whole process and we thank her for her understanding. It’s a mark of her character that one of her first concerns was the welfare of the student,” said Port Adelaide chief executive Matthew Richardson.

“We have provided support resources for the student and her family and will continue to support her moving forward. She made a mistake and acknowledged it, so now we ask others to respect her privacy.”

Late last month, the AFL banned Port Adelaide from wearing its prison bar guernsey for this year’s Showdown against local rivals Adelaide, citing a 2019 agreement between Port Adelaide, the AFL and the Collingwood Magpies as grounds for the decision.

Port Adelaide players donned the prison bar strip in the change rooms after their victory in the South Australian derby.

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