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.
Clearing continues West’s multisensory 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?
This new installation has been commissioned by TarraWarra Museum of Art as part of ART+CLIMATE=CHANGE 2019—a socially-engaged festival of exhibitions, theatre works, keynote lectures, events and artist talks considering climate change impacts and the challenges and opportunities arising from climate change. For more information visit www.artclimatechange.org.
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.
Image: Katie West, Nyinyart Yinda artist-in-residence program with Juluwarlu Aboriginal Corporation in Roebourne, Western Australia. Image credit: Juluwarlu Aboriginal Corporation. Courtesy of the artist.