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Embodied material transformations (1)

Thursday, 1 December 2022 at 12:00:00 am UTC

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Session Convenors

Professor Heather Galbraith, Massey University

Session Speakers

Professor Heather Galbraith, Massey University
Cara Johnson, RMIT University
Inari Kiuru
Claire McArdle, RMIT University
Kelly McDonald
Victoria McIntosh
Neke Moa
Lisa Waup
Associate Professor Linda Knight, RMIT University
Madaleine Trigg, Massey University

This dual-session panel explores how contemporary acts of making and material transformations in Aotearoa and Australia can embody kinship, and/or critical enquiry in craft/object-based practices. Inviting makers, curators and writers to reflect on current practices situated across jewellery, textiles, object making where hand-crafting is a means of embodied exploration and knowledge sharing. Processes involving conscious cultivation or collection of materials are especially welcomed. The session begins with a group discussion on project-in-progress Deep Material Energy, including contributions from the eight makers (four from Aotearoa and four from Naarm), and curator and panel facilitator Heather Galbraith, plus five presentations selected from paper submissions.

Deep Material Energy: panel discussion

Professor Heather Galbraith, Massey University
Cara Johnson, RMIT University
Inari Kiuru
Claire McArdle, RMIT University
Kelly McDonald
Victoria McIntosh
Neke Moa
Lisa Waup

Cara Johnson, Inari Kiuru, Claire McArdle, Kelly McDonald, Victoria McIntosh, Neke Moa and Lisa Waup will share aspects of their practices exploring how material resonance can be interrogated, enabled and amplified, through processes of transformation. This discussion will feature imagery of their work and making processes, including those of Deep Material Energy member Rowan Panther who won't be participating in person. The session will be facilitated by curator Heather Galbraith.

Critical hand-stitching as a decolonial, reparative practice in Cloaking, Quilting, Reckoning: We Stole Wages

Associate Professor Linda Knight, RMIT University

The work Cloaking, Quilting, Reckoning: We Stole Wages explores the possibility of a reparative practice through sustained, critical hand-stitching. The first of three eventual works, We Stole Wages embraced hours of daily stitching practice for a period of a year in an attempt to provoke meaningful commitment to critically reflecting on colonial subjectivity. The works centralise the role of colonial whites in the slavery of young Australian Aboriginal teens forced into indentured labour up until the 1970s either through domestic service or farm work. The personal accounts of forced indentured labour, such as those endured by Lesley Williams (Williams & Williams, 2015), provoke the explorations with stitching and its associations with domestic arts practised by colonial women living rurally, and how these seemingly neutral or gentle hobbies enact colonial processes of erasure of cultural practices of care. The works in Cloaking, Quilting, Reckoning physically and figuratively deconstruct domestic homewares textiles produced during the twentieth century that were commonly purchased as souvenir items, that often appropriated Aboriginal art and cultural objects, and reinscribed Country through the eyes of the white tourist. This presentation discusses how the slow, extended labour in We Stole Wages is a transversal process for acknowledging white colonial responsibility, and that the quilt-like object directly addresses us and our complicity.

Kneading embodied relations with materials

Madaleine Trigg, Massey University

This paper shares my creative practice and research into two materials, felt and dough. Specifically, it focuses on the performance Felt Me, where audiences are invited to collaborate and co-create a felt dress on my body. Contact improvisations with dough, where the material kneads me and wears me down, are also considered. Experimenting with hand-made processes, such as kneading and felting, by expanding them to the whole body, offers novel relations in making kin with non-human others. These approaches aim to generate knowledge through and with the materials, rather than imposing conventional practices upon them. Wearing and performing with these materials also practically explores new materialist and posthuman philosophies to cultivate richer relations between humans and non-humans. This paper will be interspersed with films of these explorations to offer a tangible and sensual experience for this virtual presentation.

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Biographies

Professor Heather Galbraith, Massey University 

Heather Galbraith is a curator, writer and educator. Born in Auckland she has lived in London, UK and Auckland and Wellington in Aotearoa. She is Professor of Fine Arts and Director Postgraduate within Toi Rauwhārangi College of Creative Arts, Massey University, Wellington. Galbraith has held roles including Senior Curator Art at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Senior Curator City Gallery Wellington, and inaugural Director/Curator of ST PAUL St. Gallery, AUT University, Auckland. She spent 12 years in London, UK where she undertook postgraduate studies in curatorial practice at Goldsmiths College, and worked as Exhibitions Organiser at Camden Arts Centre, London.


Cara Johnson, RMIT University 

Cara Johnson’s craft-based works interrogate tensions and narratives surrounding land use. She completed a Bachelor of Fine Art (First Class Hons.) at RMIT University in 2016, where she is a current PhD Candidate and sessional lecturer. Cara exhibits widely nationally and internationally, notably Paper Art 2017 at CODA Museum in the Netherlands and recently in Elegy at Gallery Funaki. This year her works were selected for Schmuck 2021 in Munich and the Woollahrah Small Sculpture Prize. Cara’s works are held in various private and public collections, including the National Gallery of Victoria.


Inari Kiuru 

Inari Kiuru is a Finnish-born multidisciplinary artist and graphic designer, translating her native relationship with wilderness and changing seasons into objects, images and words inspired by light, clouds and atmospheres in urban environments. Known for her experimental use of non-precious, industrial materials such as concrete and steel, the core of Inari’s practice is revealing beauty within ordinary, everyday things. Inari is represented by Funaki, Melbourne.

Work online: galleryfunaki.com.au, inarikiuru.blogspot.com,

IG: @ordinari_observer and @the_indoor_forest_project


Claire McArdle, RMIT University 

Claire McArdle won the Itami Award at the 2019 ITAMI International Jewellery Exhibition in Japan, first prize at both Contemporary Wearables '13 and the 2016 National Contemporary Jewellery Award and received the Excellence Award at the 2017 Victorian Craft Awards. Her work is in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs collection in Paris. She has held solo exhibitions in Australia, Estonia, Germany and Thailand. Her work has been exhibited in Thailand, Hong Kong, USA, UK, Germany, France, Estonia, Austria and The Netherlands. She has undertaken residencies in Australia, Mexico, Iceland and Estonia. She is currently undertaking a PhD at RMIT University, Melbourne.


Kelly McDonald 

Kelly McDonald completed a Bachelor of Visual Arts at Sydney College of the Arts in 1997. Based in Wellington New Zealand since 2004, McDonald tutored in the contemporary jewellery programme at Whitireia (2007-2019), is a longtime participant in the Handshake mentoring project and completed a Masters of Visual Art at Massey University (2019). McDonald excavates meaning from discarded domestic and industrial objects, melding the narratives of home, workshop and motherhood to explore both power and gender constructs. Her jewellery re-contextualisations traverse tense and complex territories between people, bodies and things, revealing much about the labours and lived experiences of women. 


Victoria McIntosh 

Victoria McIntosh has graduated twice from the Dunedin School of Art, firstly in 1991 with a DFA in printmaking and again in 2005, with a BFA in Jewellery and Metalsmithing. Victoria stitches together contemporary jewellery, sculpture and assemblage. A collector by nature, she is drawn to objects that carry a sense of history, whether real or imagined. Based in Ōtepoti, her practice combines vintage textiles and metal ware to explore ideas around body image and autonomy. Victoria was the Caselberg Artist in Residence, 2017. Victoria has exhibited throughout Aotearoa and abroad, including Schmuck 2016. Victoria’s work is held in the collections of Te Papa Tongarewa, The Dowse Art Museum and Tāmaki Paenga Hira, Auckland Museum.


Neke Moa 

Neke Moa (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Porou, Kai Tahu, Tūwharetoa) is an Ōtaki based contemporary adornment and object artist who predominantly works with stone, pounamu (NZ jade), metal and discarded/recycled materials. In 2000 she gained a Diploma of Design and Art at Te Wānanga o Raukawa, furthering her studies at Whitireia NZ completing a Bachelor of Applied Arts in 2007. Neke Moa has exhibited widely throughout Aotearoa and internationally in Munich, Prague, Australia Thailand, Holland, Norway, Guam and London. For the last 4 years Neke has taught shell craft in Fiji and Vava’u, Tonga, where she continues to teach and learn as part of her tikanga of sharing knowledge.


Lisa Waup 

Lisa Waup is a mixed-cultural First Nations woman with a multidisciplinary art practice. Born in Naarm/Melbourne, she has ancestral connections to South-West Victoria, Torres Strait Islands and also Italian heritage. Waup’s practice is studio-based, and involves the creation of objects with strong symbology that connects her to family, Country, history, motherhood and time. Waup has exhibited extensively both nationally and internationally and her work has been collected by many state institutions and private collectors both in Australia and overseas. Waup was a finalist in 2018, 2017 and 2016 Telstra NATSIAA’s. In 2019 she was a winner of an award in Victorian Craft Awards and her designs were featured at 2017 Melbourne Fashion Week, and a 2020 was a finalist in the NIFA’s. Lisa has exhibited at ACCA, NGV, NMA, Fremantle Art Centre, Art Gallery of South Australia and ReDot Gallery in Singapore. Last year her work featured in Schmuck 2021 in Munich. 


Associate Professor Linda Knight, RMIT University 

Linda Knight specialises in critical and speculative arts practice. Linda is also a methodologist, she devised the ‘Inefficient Mapping’ protocol for projects informed by ‘post-‘ theories. In her role as Associate Professor at RMIT University, Australia Linda creates transdisciplinary projects across creative practice, digital media, and early childhood. Linda is the Director of Mapping Future Imaginaries, an international research network of artists, academics, designers, and industry specialists exploring ideas about our future lives and the world. 


Madaleine Trigg, Massey University 

Madaleine Trigg is a performance artist and photographer. From 2012-2018, she was a part-time lecturer on the BA Performance Arts and MA Scenography courses, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (London). She presented her practice-led research at Critical Costume (2013, 2015, 2018), TAPRA (2015), EUPOP (2015) FCVC (Fashion, Costume and Visual Cultures, 2018), End of Fashion (2016) and Performing Artefacts (2019). Previous publications include; (Ad)dressing the female body (Scene, 2014) and REF:CN1183315 (Performance Research, 2017) and the chapter, Kneading Bodies in Posthumanism in Practice (Bloomsbury, forthcoming 2022). Madaleine is currently in her final year of a creative-practice PhD at Massey University.

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