Gunyulgup Valley Drive, Yallingup, WA
30th March -14th April 2013
This selection of works celebrates the creativity and skills that my grandparents, parents and the community have bestowed upon me. The materials, methods and subjects reflect the farm environment I grew up in.
The knitted lace forms in the work celebrate the textile skills learnt when I was young. Mum taught me how to knit, although I could never hope to match her speed and even tension, being such a superb knitter that she is. I was also fascinated by the delicateness of Nanna’s crocheted lace doilies, so she taught me how to crochet them. I could never remember the order of the movements so I started to make it up as I went. Trying to figure it out by myself has become important to me for discovering new ways to work with old techniques. Now I use wire as my thread, in an attempt to make archival textiles.
The older ladies from the community would come in to school and teach us how to embroider, bead, stitch and make clay forms. Mum would also drop me off at the CWA to learn whatever craft they were doing whether it was macrame, ribbon flowers or cane basketmaking. It is the combination of all these influences that has inspired this body of work.
The structure of the works is based on textiles, in particular knitting. I think about the linear quality of the wire and the forms that I make with it, as being symbolic of relationships and family lineage. With each stitch depending on the other for support, the collective stitches make a strong fabric. The interlinked areas and openings reflect the degrees of closeness or distance from families, friends and also the greater environment. They are symbolic of the web of social connections and relationships we all have in our lives, sometimes strong, sometimes not.
The material I have used is metal. As a child I played on the machinery graveyard on the farm which contained every farming implement that had been used from the time of clearing the land to the present day. This junk heap was an essential part of our working farm, used constantly by my father as source material for fixing machinery or his newest agricultural invention. Like his father before him making farm implements and structures for Dad was a necessity. Pop’s choice of material was wood and in later years his shed was full of projects in various stages of completion.
The farming environment in the area which I grew up in is changing. Family farms are being taken over by corporates and small farms are becoming fewer as they are being purchased by larger farmers. This way of life is changing forever.