Katie West: Clearing
Katie West is a Yindjibarndi woman of the Pilbara region in Western Australia, who lives and works in Melbourne. She combines naturally dyed textiles, installation and social practice to formulate ways to enact custodianship in colonised and ecologically compromised contexts. In this exhibition, West weaves the many threads of her art together—natural dyeing, meditation and the creation of reading and listening spaces where the voices of Indigenous people dominate.
Here we can recall with our senses 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 a space in both the landscape and in a 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.
This exhibition has been commissioned by TarraWarra Museum of Art as part of ART+CLIMATE=CHANGE 2019, 23 April–19 May, a socially-engaged festival of exhibitions, theatre works, keynote lectures, events and artist talks considering climate change impacts and the challenges and opportunities arising from climate change.