Clearing the way

Katie West''s muhlu garrwarn. Picture: Lucia Rossi

By Jed Lanyon

For her new solo exhibition Clearing, Katie West weaves the many threads of her practice together: natural dyeing, meditation and the creation of reading and listening spaces where the voices of Indigenous people dominate.

Opening at TarraWarra Museum of Art on 23 March 2019, Clearing continues Ms West’s multisensory installations which call for a renewal of human connections with and within the natural environment.

The exhibition is comprised of floor to ceiling textile works, cushions and seating, all naturally dyed using plants collected from the local region, as well as key texts by Indigenous writers including Kerry Arabena, Aunty Joy Murphy Wandin and Bruce Pascoe.

It is a space to listen, read and converse, and ask ourselves: How do we relate to this country? How do we relate to the earth?

As Ms West described, “Clearing is a space to recall with our bodies that this is a world that emerges through reciprocity, the infinite instances of chemical exchange and dialogue between plants, animals, microbes, natural elements and phenomena.

“Naturally dyed fabrics carrying the colour and scent of country create an opening in a landscape and political climate where it is easy to forget our place in the complex systems that sustain life on this planet.

“This is the setting for meditation, reading, listening and conversation, where we can come together to consider a global outlook that is grounded in Wurundjeri country and the bioregion within which TarraWarra Museum of Art is situated,” Ms West said.

Katie West: Clearing is on display at TarraWarra Museum of Art, 313 Healesville-Yarra Glen Road, Healesville, from 23 March – 19 May 2019.

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