This body of work began in the Czech Republic while I was visiting my mother’s homeland. Immersed in such a long history full of beauty and dark passages I developed a further interest in the notion of self. How an individual is constructed, threaded together by divergent strands of culture as well as the moments of time and place in which we exist. The echo of events and memory that reverberate throughout our lifetimes. Gentle strands or crude stitches – the pattern of conditioning imposed by external and internal influences, by our simple yet almost all-consuming need to survive – biologically, socially, psychologically. And our equally strong desire for comfort.
I became intrigued by seemingly mundane decorative objects and minutia such as lace hankies and crocheted doilies. I wondered how these inanimate objects dictated certain types of behaviours. How, for me, these objects evoked a rush of memories from my childhood. Sitting at the kitchen table on my Dad’s farm while Nanna pours the tea and I wait until biscuits are offered. Trying not to swing my legs; thongs resting on my big toes and remembering to sit up straight. These small delicate objects weaved with such care over extended amounts of time are so contrived in their simple, symmetrical patterning yet they dictate so much. – Mel Dare
Exhibited in Florid at 45 Downstairs – Melbourne 25 February – 22 March 2014 and Turner Galleries – Northbridge, WA 4 July – 2 August 2014.
Florid showcased recent works by eight Western Australian mid-career artists who reference histories of decoration in order to explore subjectivity, identity, colonialism and/or nationalism. Florid is a group exhibition curated by Clare McFarlane and Andrew Nicholls. Participating artists: Olga Cironis, Thea Costantino, Mel Dare, Eva Fernandez, Susan Flavell, Ryan Nazzari, Clare McFarlane & Andrew Nicholls. This exhibition included sculpture, photography, painting, ceramics and drawing.