Tuesday, April 9, 2019

"Decoding the Sea" exhibition.

F Project Gallery, Warrnambool, Victoria, until the 28th of April, 2019.
Works by Rachel Peters and Shelley Knoll-Miller

Firstly, to explain the title of this exhibition, Rachel's works feature teeny bits of plastic that she found washed up on her local beach. She has placed them in grid-like patterns and, when you stand back a few paces, they almost appear like hieroglyphics or some futuristic code. Our reflection was that the pollution that washes up on our beaches is telling us something, we just have to read the code. I love the spareness of Rachel's works. There are 35 works in this exhibition and Rachel's pieces, en masse, work beautifully together.

This exhibition has been my chance to further explore weaving. It's such a change from my illustration work but very fulfilling, especially using 'beach rope'. 'Beach rope' is rope or nets that are found in the water or washed up on beaches. Locally the larger pieces usually come from recreational fishing but we also have a lot of little bits from the cray fishing that happens in south west Victoria. 

When left in the sea, this rope is dangerous to all marine life. We have two local environmental groups that clean our beaches and one of them (Beach Patrol 3280) was able to deliver to me several sacks of beach rope. So the beach rope forms about 50% of my latest weavings. During creation, it coats the whole studio floor in a fine layer of sand and fuzz, but it IS very effective in how it mimics seaweed and sea sponge. 
I love these weavings and hope to do more but as I mentioned in my last post about weaving, it will be a matter of securing buyers for this kind of work. I'm also keen to illustrate another picture book so we'll see what the year delivers!

Here is the local paper's write up on our exhibition: https://www.standard.net.au/story/5991355/artists-see-beauty-and-hope-in-discarded-ropes-and-plastics/

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