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cura et industria

Another Look : Contemporary Artists and The Collection

Town Hall Gallery, Hawthorn

24.10 - 20.12.2017

 

Another Look continues Town Hall Gallery’s commitment to artist commissions, inviting contemporary artists to produce new work inspired by the Town Hall Gallery Collection. The 5 artists to be awarded the commission are dana harris, Siri Hayes, Vivian Cooper Smith, Tai Snaith, and Kylie Stillman. Driven by research into the Collection’s history and the many artworks and objects that make it up, these artists have been spending time getting to know The Collection in order to find aspects and elements that will drive their contemporary responses. Another Look promises to deliver new ways of seeing historical works and cultural objects. The result is an exhibition featuring items from the Town Hall Gallery Collection alongside the new works they inspired.

I created a work made of 13 elements with a drawn wallwork installation for the Exhibition.

I chose an etching of a landscape by an unknown artist entitled ‘Hawthorn near Melbourne’. It’s a fairly typical pastoral scene from that era, showing tree lined roads and tracts of land. It has an atmospheric, dreamlike quality to it and in the hand drawn lines, I sensed the importance of the scene to the artist who created it.

I focused on researching the surrounding area of the Shire of Boroondara, where the Hawthorn Town Hall Gallery is sited. This area was mapped by the surveyor Robert Hoddle in 1837, the same year he mapped Melbourne city and created the famous ‘Hoddle grid.’ Originally the area was part of hunting grounds of a Wurundjeri clan of Woiwurrung people, and Hoddle named the area the Parish of Boroondara from the Woiwurrung language meaning ‘where the ground is thickly shaded’

I created a thirteen element project exhibited in hand waxed cedar frames: cura et industria (with care and industry) The title of the work is motto of the Shire of Boroondara from 1871. Twelve elements are hand weavings which allude to the subdivided tracts of land, which can be seen in Hoddles map of the Boroondara area. I used small looms to make the weavings, and they are quite lo-fi: the thread is cotton and I chose the colours to relate to the earlier translation from Woiwurrung of Boroondara: ‘where the ground is thickly shaded’.

The 13th element is a cedar framed work on paper depicting Hoddles map from 1837, which shows the Shire of Boroondara. The roads and divided plots of land have been drawn in pen, and I have hand embroidered the river system in very fine cotton. The work shows Hoddles signature use of the grid and the generous sized plots relative to the entire area, which alludes to the wealth of the settlement, an inspiration that continues today with the gentrification of the area.

For the exhibition, I also created a wallwork in cord, where I separated the road network from a specific site from the same map. I wanted to focus on roads that are still in use today, 180 years after the area was first mapped. In the wallwork, Camberwell road is diagonal, Toorak Rd meets the diagonal, and the site of Hawthorn Town Hall Gallery is over to the left, on the wall above the framed thirteenth element of the map.

There is an added, almost secret aspect of cura et industria, which is my application of phosphorescence to parts of the weft of the grey coloured weavings, and to the cord of the wallwork. I wanted to encourage the viewer to engage in the work intimately, to spend time looking at the work closely and notice the actual hand crafted materiality of the work. The phosphorescence adds a subtle glow which comes from a charge gained by exposure to a light source- it adds an element of magic to the work, and relies on the viewer to engage with staff to ask for the lights to be dimmed, for its reveal.

 

                    

                      

 

 

  Hawthorn Near Melbourne - hand coloured engraving c19thC anonymous. Collection The City of Boroondara

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

Included in the catalogue, an artists statement as mind map.

When researching, I tend to make a lot of notes and look for connections of all the information- it is a continual process of expansion and contraction. The mind map is a document of the notes as I was researching and my thoughts as I was weaving. I wanted to show how I was thinking at the time, to reveal the breadth of the subject, and how I connected all the disparate information I was collecting.

 

 

                   

 

cura et industria, 2017 13th element

paper, pen, embroidery cotton, handmade cedar frame

47 X 31.5 cm

 

 

 

cura et industria, 2017 12 of 13 elements

hand woven cotton, phosphorescence, handmade cedar frames

various dimensions

 

 

cura et industria, 2017 12 of 13 elements

hand woven cotton, phosphorescence, handmade cedar frames

various dimensions

 

 

cura et industria, 2017 12 of 13 elements

hand woven cotton, phosphorescence, handmade cedar frames

various dimensions

 

 

     

 

 

cura et industria, 2017 detail

hand woven cotton, phosphorescence

 

 

      

 

 

cura et industria, 2017 detail

hand woven cotton, phosphorescence

 

 

      

 

 

cura et industria, 2017 detail

hand woven cotton

 

      

                                                 

 

cura et industria, 2017 

hand woven cotton, phosphorescence

 

 

                                                 

 

cura et industria, 2017 

hand woven cotton

 

                                                 

 

cura et industria, 2017 

hand woven cotton, phosphorescence

 

                                                 

 

cura et industria, 2017

hand woven cotton, phosphorescence

 

 

                                                 

 

cura et industria, 2017 

hand woven cotton, phospherescence

 

 

                                                 

 

cura et industria, 2017 

hand woven cotton

 

                                                 

 

cura et industria, 2017 

hand woven cotton, phosphorescence

 

 

                                                 

 

cura et industria, 2017 

hand woven cotton, phosphorescence

 

 

                                                 

 

cura et industria, 2017 

hand woven cotton, phosphorescence

 

                                                 

 

cura et industria, 2017 

hand woven cotton, phosphorescence

 

 

                                                 

 

cura et industria, 2017 

hand woven cotton

 

                                                 

 

cura et industria, 2017 

hand woven cotton, phosphorescence

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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