meeting place marks the end of Annette’s residency at Spectrum Project Space, ECU and runs from the 2nd to 17th February 2018.
In the gallery space, I spend time handling the things I have gathered and acknowledging the people and the places entangled with them. My edginess quietens as my mind wanders to moments in the Country walking the ground. I recollect the familiar hint of dust tinting the whisper of the breeze that teases my hair. I feel the heat rising from the weathered strata beneath my feet and dancing across the desiccated salt lake. I reimagine a similar dance reflected in the steam rising from the dyepot or the flue of the kiln, redolent with woodsmoke and hot metal, and the anticipation of revealing the alchemical transformations. Traces of these endure in the marks of the sample bags and beads. A waft of eucalyptus lingers in the folded cloth and balled string. Snatches of yarns spun during making echo in my thoughts, and I recall who I was sitting with listening, and sharing skills and stories. I select each yarning object—vessel, bundle, ball—pausing to absorb its texture, retell its story, then arranging or installing it to map pathways and connections and re/create places of the Country in this exhibition.
Engaewa spp. chimney structure (2017), String
When a maker and her materials become connected through slow making in the field, they are entangled in creating places in the Country. This tactile place-making questions the evolving relationships between the maker, the materials, and the environment. By gathering the objects of the experience within a gallery setting, a meeting with place is made possible.
The Pit (2018), Hand-Dyed Textiles, 3.5×8.5m.
In the days leading up to the residency, my collections of yarning objects—balls of rag strips and plied string, vessels of cloth, fibre and clay, and repurposed sample bags, coloured and bundled with plant materials and found objects were gathered together. Bringing them into the gallery space, I sorted, heavily edited, arranged, assembled, and installed elements of these collections. Slowly, over many hours and multiple iterations, the space has been transformed into a meeting place. An exhibition has emerged, and becomes a place to meet what I have created from my experience in the Country. A meeting place to share, to make and yarn, and to acknowledge the Country which sustains me.
– Annette Nykiel
The Country (2018), Mixed Media, Variable Dimensions
For more information:
Placemap (2018), String and Ceramic Beads, Variable Dimensions