the sum of its parts - group exhibition
quilted cotton fabric with slow stitching and embroidered text
This week, I'm exhibiting some of my textile work in an exhibition, called The Sum of its Parts, with five other women artists, in a small gallery in Red Hill, Brisbane.
The idea was to curate a group show which gave women's voices an opportunity to be heard, as a response to various allegations of sexual harassment, rape and sexual assault towards women in Parliament House, Canberra earlier this year, with the response from our politicians being slow and often uninformed.
As a therapist, I am very aware of the damage such attacks can have on individuals, whether by someone they know, or by a stranger. So it was important to me to take part in this exhibition. It was also a little scary, as I primarily think of myself as a therapist first, with 'artist' coming a long way down the list.
I have exhibited in group shows before, but not very frequently. I can remember the first time, it was a very strange feeling. It feels like having a part of yourself on public display, because that is how I think of my art. But then again, we ask our clients to do this in their sessions, albeit not in such a public arena, but its still a 'risk', hopefully with not too much at stake.
Quilted repurposed embroidered tablecloth with applique in various fabrics
I used to write another blog, and addressed this very issue early on. Like many hard things, it does get easier to 'put stuff out there' with practice. Its about letting go of the object, as much as about the idea of being judged. We are usually harsher on ourselves than anyone else, after all.
The image above was made as part of an assignment on practice frameworks (or theories that inform our practice), when I was studying for my social work Masters, so it was made to be evaluated.
I thought the lecturers wouldn't quite know what to make of it. I was probably right. But to me, it makes sense.