Exhibition and Activation

The Public and Touch
Victoria University, Nicholson Street Campus

Theatre Space, N222
November 22-23, 2018

Red Earth Dresses:
An exhibition around Touch, Place and Identity

Shelley Hannigan with associate dress creators 
Beatrix Rowe, Jane Bartier, Monica Moore,
Jo-Anne Britt, Amanda Rea and Karlee Blackburn

Knitting, twisting and knot-making with copper wire and thread, are some of the ways I have created this exhibition piece titled Red Earth Dresses. I create my art whilst entangled in a place I have co-constructed through experiences such as: being here, there, imagining, memory, creating, observing, listening, touching and feeling. In the process of creating Red Earth Dresses, I have handled materials, felt strains in my arms and hands from knitting six life size dresses and a range of miniature versions and twisted, knotted and woven copper wire into them. These images have emerged from a process of ‘free knitting’ where no pattern is used. I have responded to the emerging form, stretching the weave out to see and feel what is coming.

Dresses have emerged in my work for over forty years. In past works, dresses have represented my identity as a migrant moving over, in and through landscapes, embodying my past, but never laying claim to place. In Red Earth Dresses I share this experience and work around touch, place and identity as this work has come to represent my own and other women’s experiences and relationships with the earth/land of Australia. I have come to identify with these women as a regional Australian citizen for twenty years. It is my experience and in-sight that women of the past and of this land have adopted some of the colonial Victorian dress sensibility and aesthetics but also blended and connected with the earth through their place experiences. Their dresses were worn and torn and mended in parts. These traces of touch through wear, tear and mending are materials memories of place and bodily engagements on this land that I have captured and present in this work. (Shelley Hannigan)

Tread – Softly
Merinda Kelly and Soraya Mobayad
(Exhibition and activation)

Open to the possibilities of materiality, time, space and place, a series of objects and structures will be situated as provocations to prompt unfolding possibilities for playful encounter, social connection, experimental engagement or performative action. Experimental pedagogies will also be activated to catalyse individual and collaborative responses to the spatial intervention as it emerges over time.

Merinda Kelly’s current modes of practice are experimental, socially engaged and collaborative. Interventions, installations and experimental pedagogical encounters are positioned across specific sites, time frames and publics to entice public engagement, dialogue and collaboration. She has also worked extensively over the past six years with creative practitioners, researchers, and educators in the Geelong region to explore transitions and tensions emerging in response to staged processes of deindustrialisation.

Since undertaking a Bachelor’s degree in Visual Art, Soraya Mobayad’s artistic practice has extended to explore deindustrialisation, audio frequencies and the relationship of noise to information. Her work takes the form of drawings, public works, installations, bespoke electronic circuits and audio loops. Mobayad is currently undertaking a Masters of Teaching at Deakin University. She was previously Creative Program Coordinator at Courthouse Youth Arts, was selected for the Footscray Community Arts Centre Emerging Cultural Leaders Program in 2017, and currently works on arts projects involving the community and socially engaged practices.

This session is part of:

Public Pedagogies Institute Conference 2018
November 22-23
Footscray, Melbourne

Register for the conference here