Craft in Dialogue
Dovecot Studios 4th November - 26 November
An exhibition celebrating the work of all of the makers who have received craft development bursaries from the Inches Carr Trust since it was established in 1996. Including a diverse range of work and showcasing many of Scotland’s leading craft practitioners.The purpose of the bursaries is to help established artists develop their skills or research a particular aspect of their practice.
I have exhibited work produced on residency at IASKA in 2008, a series of 'historically modified crops' . A piece of text by Christos Tsiolkas accompanies the work and both works on exhibit present commentary from both resident and visitor to Australia.
While on residency in rural Western Australia in 2008 , I became overwhelmed by the scale of things ; the landscape ,land use and troubled social history of such a vast country . My focus turned to the 'small' things such as the leaves and flowers of Eucalyptus , a tree which retains enormous cultural significance to the Indigenous traditional owners of the country. Sheep, wheat farming and gold mining are referenced in material choice and those materials are affected by salt ( salination ) , rain and sun to express the extremes of both weather and land use. The embroidered and written work presents commentary from both resident and visitor to Australia.
They say this is the wild west.
They say this is the back of beyond.
They say this is Out. Back. The back of Bourke. My friends and I joke, Nah, it is the back of Bulgaría.
But it is not.
This is not my country. I am fearful of this country. I am scared but I am also awed.
This is not my country, whatever my passport says. My citizenship is not enough to make me feel at home.
Country, they say, is the land that is home.
Country is a defintion for land that is not urban.
Country is a synonym for the nation state.
Country is the blackfella word for ‘my place’.
Country is a whitefella term for myth of origin.
Country is Hank Williams breaking my heart singing I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.
I am fearful of belonging to this country.
But any other sun, any other light; they’re not mine. The smells here are mine, the harshness of the wind and the vastness of the oceans.
Somewhere between the desert and a Hank Williams song on the radio, that’s my country.