Courtesy of NETS Victoria. National Tour 2006-2009.
At the heart of this exhibition is a 250 kilometre journey along the Great South West Walk, an increasingly endangered natural environment cradled in the far south-west corner of Victoria. For three weeks, this group of artists travelled together through forest and river, estuary and bay to create work in response to their experience of the Walk. The artists followed a path that took them far from the familiarity and isolation of the studio into a landscape conceived as a creative, social, cultural, ethical and aesthetic relation to place. Curator: Martina Copley. NETS National Tour. 2007-2009
Weather Vanes (detail)
Collaboration with Nicky Hepburn, 2007
seabird feathers, sterling silver By Tarragal Cave, thousands of soft-topped grasses are dancing over the surface of the hill – hovering just above it like the mist over the river but with a faster, younger energy. Along the coast roll, trip and tumble the spindly seeds of the Hairy Spinifex. The wind whips the grasses into circles and marks spirals in the sand. Hair in my face, I spread out my arms and lean like a Gannet into the wind.
fish scales, silk, cotton thread, monofilament
6cm x 6cm x 18cm
Walking Discovery Bay, the swelling, foaming ‘shhh’ of the sea coming in and receding. In the living sand are creatures on the cusp of plant and animal, defying definition. I am reminded of Lyall Watson’s ‘Gifts of unknown things’. The brittle skin of a fish, its dry scales lifted and salty. Infinite variety etched in relief, like fingerprints. Thousands of tiny barnacles coating the surface of flotsam like sequins.
Pale Pale Day
Collaboration with Nicky Hepburn 2007
nylon monofilament, cotton, linen, silk, viscose-rayon, sterling silver
hand spun thread plied over fishing line on the spinning wheel. hand stitched
Discovery Bay. The sound of the sea - low roar and the swelling. The colours of old glass bottles - palest aqua, frosted sage greys and slatey turquoise green. White wet foam and weed and luminous lilac grey sky. Living sand.
hand spun and stitched nylon monofilament, cotton, silk, linen, viscose, rayon
A trajectory or narrative journey.
What makes any of us (or any living thing) go this way and not that way?
The frozen record of a creature’s movement. Through sand. Through space.
The forces and stresses that direct a plant's growth.
As homage to these mysteries, my slow stitching grows at the rate of coral.
Thread spun over fishing line. Hand stitched Coiling. Similar in structure to indigenous basket techniques of this area. Nylon monofilament from fishing rope deteriorating under the sun, brittle, frayed and salt washed, starts to resemble natural forms.
silk organza, gannet feathers, thread 140cm x 200cm
Micro: Close concentration, bending over in communion with a little dry flap of penguin skin lying on the sand, pierced all over with hundreds of minute feathers. The scanning eye taking in vanes and quills, an alarming reminder that this underwater swimmer is a still a bird.
Macro: Watching the wind move the dunes by Swan Lake. After the storm in the late afternoon the head lifts and drops back, taking in the horizon in front and behind in one movement.
silk organza, gannet feathers, thread
Counihan Gallery, Brunswick
Counihan Gallery, Brunswick
Pale Pale Day in foreground, Weather Vanes behind.