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12 April–5 May 2024


‘Embedded’ explores female contribution, capacity, and identity.

Who sees the physical and emotional heavy lifting that makes a home, sustains a relationship, a family?

Do we really see the work women around us do?

The energy embedded, the work, the meaning and reality are easily missed in life’s dailiness, in the demands of subtle expectation.

I like to draw on materials that have already had a life, where the materials and their history impose on the mark making. Dress making tissue has a skin like delicacy and translucency. Old dressmaking patterns are so frail, crepe like, like old skin, seemingly insubstantial, yet they speak powerfully, energetically. I can feel the embedded energy of the women who have worked with the tissue before me. These women are strong, the fabric fragile, elusive, humble, partly damaged, but imbued with the strength, annotations, and enthusiasm of past makers.

The material is a metaphor for all the kinds of knowledge, contributions, capabilities, hopes and failures that undergird women’s lives. It embodies the heart and soul of making, making do, and giving.

The tissue is transformational, translating the idea of ‘I can’ into ‘I did!’. Iterative by definition, just as washing, food preparation and loving are. Endless. When gifts are continuously given, unending, they fade from view.

The tissue through paper mâché forms the bodies, on which the tissue as clothing hangs; flowers adorn the dresses, hand carved in the lino of floors, hand printed, hand coloured, hand stitched. Made for others. The wallpaper, hand dyed, adorned with dreams and realities.

The same mad tenacity that demands fragile tissue behaves as fabric drives women to ‘have it all’; the home, the work, the fun, the family, the exhaustion.

Layers of tissue, layers of wax, layers of wallpaper, layers of dust; life’s energy torn off, layer by layer, in the hope of building, so often so little left to support themselves.

A life; in the making.

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