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The proposed exhibition was initiated while at Obras Renkum, an International Artist Residency in The Netherlands in September 2018. It is currently a work in progress and has undergone further development in my studio back in Ballarat, Australia. It crosses the boundaries of printmaking, artists’ books and textiles. In recent years I have explored the role of international artists’ residencies as a way of enabling an immersive experience of both an alternative creative space and as providing an insight into motifs of another culture.
My practice-led research has consistently been informed by, and seeks to impact on, an investigation of people, history and place. It also comprises an ongoing interrogation of materials, as I have explored the qualities of recycled components, predominantly in the form of paper and books. Through printmaking and stitch, the work stages a conversation between the materials, their origin and their social function. My practice also investigates the domestic space, and, as well as printmaking, I have used a stitch-based methodology, incorporating the practices of domestic needlework and a politics of women’s lived experience, to undertake a critical reflection on craft practices.
Whilst at Obras Renkum, I purchased an old school atlas in the local charity shop and the individual map and index pages have provided the base material for this body of work. A wall of Delftware platters at The Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam suggested the distinct shapes of the component pieces while images of birds, medallions, stars and ships sourced from Delftware tiles, Dutch heritage buildings and bridges inspired the stencil and relief printed overlay. An associated visit to the ‘Sampled Lives’ exhibition of historical embroidery samplers at The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, UK, provided further inspiration.