Katie West: Clearing

For her new solo exhibition Clearing, Katie West weaves the many threads of her practice together — natural dyeing, meditation and the creation of reading and listening spaces where the voices of Indigenous people dominate.

Opening at TarraWarra Museum of Art on 23 March 2019, Clearing continues West’s multi-sensory installations which call for a renewal of human connections with and within the natural environment. The exhibition is comprised of floor to ceiling textile works, cushions and seating, all naturally dyed using plants collected from the local region, as well as key texts by Indigenous writers including Kerry Arabena, Aunty Joy Murphy Wandin and Bruce Pascoe. It is a space to listen, read and converse, and ask ourselves: How do we relate to this country? How do we relate to the earth?

As West describes, “Clearing is a space to recall with our bodies that this is a world that emerges through reciprocity—the infinite instances of chemical exchange and dialogue between plants, animals, microbes, natural elements and phenomena. Naturally dyed fabrics carrying the colour and scent of country create an opening in a landscape and political climate where it is easy to forget our place in the complex systems that sustain life on this planet. This is the setting for meditation, reading, listening and conversation — where we can come together to consider a global outlook that is grounded in Wurundjeri country and the bioregion within which TarraWarra Museum of Art is situated.”

This new installation has been commissioned by TarraWarra Museum of Art as part of ART+CLIMATE=CHANGE 2019—a festival of exhibitions and events harnessing the creative power of the arts to inform, engage and inspire action on climate change.

Katie West is a Yindjibarndi woman who combines naturally dyed textiles, installation and social practice to formulate ways to practice custodianship in still colonised and ecologically compromised contexts. West’s first major commission Decolonist, for Next Wave Festival 2016, utilised meditation as a means to decolonise the self. In 2017, she completed a Master of Contemporary Art at the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne, where she was awarded the Dominik Mersch Gallery Award and the Falls Creek Resort Indigenous Award. West also collaborates with artist Fayen d’Evie through their project Museum Incognita, which revisits neglected, concealed or obscured histories, activates embodied readings, and archives ephemeral artworks and practices.

Katie West: Clearing is on display at TarraWarra Museum of Art, 313 Healesville-Yarra Glen Road, Healesville, from 23 March – 19 May 2019. Museum admission fees apply – $10 Adults; $8 Seniors; $5 Pensioners and Students; Children 12 and under free.

TarraWarra Museum of Art, 313 Healesville-Yarra Glen Road, Healesville VIC 3777

T +61 (0)3 5957 3100

W twma.com.au

Opening Hours: Tuesday – Sunday, 11am to 5pm. Open all public holidays except Christmas Day. Open 7 days a week from Boxing Day to Australia Day. Museum Admission: $10 Adults; $8 Seniors; $5 Pensioners and Students; Children 12 and under free.

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