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INSIDE ELANDS and how to use art to respond to multi-faceted relationships.

Updated: Oct 22, 2021


Of a time: Threat of rescue, Blue Knob c 1998, by Suey McEnnally.


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I didn't see this exhibition in person and have only learnt about it through reading the catalogue and various reviews, but speaking with Una Rey (Curator) and Alison Bennet about the drive to bring it to life was significant to me.


The group exhibition addresses multi-layered memory and mixed emotional responses to a place - at least that's what I pulled from it.


As a guest speaker in one of my classes, Una Rey recalled her experience growing up in Elands. She spoke to the freedom and wildness of growing up off grid but also to the neglect, abuse, drug use and many dangers that came along with it all. I felt seen.

My paintings tends to centre around relationships and memory and recently I have been featuring more imagery from home, but it has always been emotionally draining to address my relationship to it because of how multi-faceted it is. I don't know what to focus on or how to portray it all at once - some days it feels romantic and I long for the bush, others it feels traumatic and a lot of the time I can't separate myself from the political elements.


Through conversations with people who have had similar upbringings, I am understanding that sometimes traumatic or negative experiences do not erase positive ones, they add to it in a way, add to you. Relationships to places can be similar to relationships to people and do not need to make sense through language or description. Which brings me to a very interesting place in my artmaking and I'm interested in furthering this investigation into the middle ground of relationships.

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Refences:


Glastonbury, Keri. "Inside Elands." Artlink (Review), 12/07/2021, 2021. https://www.artlink.com.au/articles/4914/inside-elands/. (Accessed 11/10/2021)


Rey, Edited by Una. "Inside Elands." The Lock-Up Contemporary Art Space, 2021. Exhibition Catalogue

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