Saturday 18 September 2021

Algalrhythms opens on King Island

 As I write this, the pictured pink box, or ‘coffin’, as we like to refer to it, is somewhere on the road or sea between here and King Island, which lies in the Bass Strait at the bottom of Australia, between the mainland and Tasmania. It had to be repaired after its last trip to New Zealand for WOW, so Matt took the opportunity to renovate it to greater heights to better fit the works so they could stand upright. 

In it rest thirty-three works, bound for the walls of the recently re-painted King Island Cultural Centre.

 It is a beautiful space, and I am very much looking forward to seeing my work in there. With the exhibition Opening Night on October 15th, I am due to land on the island on the 8th to begin set-up. I am wondering if I should take some photos of the work in situ before hanging – amongst the kelp, on the rocks, and on the colourful grasses and flowers that cover the dunes – I think it will be fun to at least try.
Just one of the many light-filled rooms

 I am extremely grateful to Helen Thomas from King Island Council for absolutely taking this idea and running with, not only making it happen, but securing funding from RANTarts to cover the costs – something which as a QLD based artist, I could not. As an adjunct to the exhibition I will be offering both an Artist Talk – watch out, I can talk for several hours about what has gone into making this body of work – and a small workshop on making a Kelp Neck Frill. 

It was really hard to come up with a suitable workshop as I use so many different techniques in my works – from botanical dyeing, free-motion embroidery, hand embroidery, 3D pen printing to felting.

The exhibition will show for a month, before being packed up and sent home for an even larger Opening at Warwick Regional Art Gallery. This exhibition will include the many variations of my eleven lino prints, and a series of six stitched digital prints – I think there will be quite the culling process even though I have the Main Gallery! The exhibition here will run from 6th January – 12th February 2022, and will also feature an artist talk. I will be publishing details on all events as soon as they are confirmed.

The last week or so has been a whirlwind of activity as all the machinations of this have occurred – applying for the grant, repairing and packing the box, cataloguing and labelling the works, organising shipping, and conceiving a workshop. Now it is only a matter of weeks until I fly down – not to stay in my beloved Love Shack, but with the fabulous June Kempster!

Above - the Love Shack, below, myself and June
Fingers are crossed all round that this goes ahead. I really want to be there to install and open my very first solo exhibition, in the very place which inspired each and every work in it.