Karla Pringle, Lily Suwitra, Ange Thirlwell, Jess Tan, curated by John Brooks
2 April - 28 April
Opening night: Thursday 4 April 2019
Drawn Together is an exhibition of four artists whose practices involve drawing in some form or another. Sometimes it’s the starting point, a way of thinking, a record, or the outcome. A drawing’s role can change over time, from something finished to the starting point of something else, or a piece of the process reframed as an outcome. Drawing is a way for ideas to grow, and harmonises our brains, hands and eyes.
I would like to acknowledge that this exhibition is being held on the Country of the Boon Wurrung and Woiwurrung (Wurundjeri) peoples of the Kulin Nation and pay deep respect to their Elders past, present and future. I would also like to acknowledge that this work was made on Kabi Kabi/Gubbi Gubbi Country, and to pay my deep love and respect to its Elders past, present and future.
KabiKabi/GubbiGubbi Country is the land of my childhood. It’s rainforest Country bordered by mountains, rivers and ocean. In the 1880’s most of the Kabi Kabi/Gubbi Gubbi people were violently removed from the land where I now live. My ancestors also arrived here at this time. I was never made aware of my family’s involvement in this war. I never heard stories about it. It was not spoken of. There was a lot that was not spoken of. And I cannot speak for ghosts, but I can see patterns – patterns of intergenerational culture.
I grew up with violence in every form, and suppression, repression, and denial. The conquerors conquer their own. The land was powered over, owned, diminished, pillaged and controlled. My body was powered over, owned, diminished, pillaged and controlled. Frightened men fight until they die. I left, so I wouldn’t die fighting back.
Now I’ve returned. I am trying to reconcile the violence and disconnect of the past. I am trying to come to terms with the violence against the KabiKabi/GubbiGubbi, the land, and my own body. I try to understand and disable the violence and to be a witness to what has occurred, to my self and to others. So I listen. I listen to the Traditional Owners and their deep wisdom of and connection to Country, I listen to Country and its deep wisdom of and connection to people, and I listen to my body, its deep desire to be at peace within this place - to end the violence.
These drawings are made with a method of sensorimotor mark making. I use this method to connect with Country in a deeply immersive manner - to listen fully with my body. To let a conversation between my body’s sensory receptors and Country take place.
These are records of the deep reverence that can exist between bodies of land and flesh - petitions against the destruction of their unity. Love poems to Country, teaching me to come home, teaching me to become home.
“When you blossom, I blossom” are a series of works on recycled paper that is encouraged to be viewed separately or as one. The works are inspired by banana blossoms; a part of the banana tree not as commonly used in the western world, it is known in South East Asia as being beneficial in but not limited to brightening your mood and anxiety and to heal wounds.
My relationship with drawing began in my early childhood during my travels and was often used early on as a way of documenting my interests and life around me before I was able to write. In my adulthood, drawing has been used to express feelings and emotion when words fail me. My main inspirations are plants and nature within an abstract form. I am interested in parallels between plants and humans such as evolution, growth and layers as well as the benefits of nature in the production of oxygen and providing a calm and peaceful environment.
My work is aimed to be aesthetically pleasing as well as provide a sense of tranquillity through mark making using a range of materials.
When I draw I do one thing and a myriad of things together..
Or as Taoist sage Lao Tzu said,
The Tao gives birth to One.
One gives birth to Two.
Two gives birth to Three.
Three gives birth to all things.
The drawing a line marking incantation to rise up and bring forth the internal landscapes that swirl, a small animation of life beyond our senses. This is where a line can simultaneously be a pure line in and of itself and also a finger that points at the moon. But then we look closer and the moon is also a line as are the rivers and the mountains. Just as we are made up of all things so is the line.
Our internal landscapes shimmer and melt and reform with a drawing; they are the embryo, the spark that starts the fire that acknowledges us.
I draw myself I draw us I draw the Tao I draw
Music to listen to whilst cutting the lawn with a blunt machete
The loaning of emotions (oceans) (the empathic brain)
The vomiting centre; to rid the body of toxins
the cough centre, the sneeze centre
A Very Slowly Spontaneous Crawling Moment Becoming an Act of Reparé
the language of secret trees dispersed across layers of
skin time erasures
Hollowing out spaces to Live In
When daylight savings Ends
Next year I will remain the same age (frozen, thawing since birth)
the global climate will have risen by 1.5 degree