The Seed Stitch Collective are playing with the theme ‘Dopamine’ for this year’s Sydney Craft Week. Best known as the driving force behind the feelings of anticipation, euphoria, motivation, and desire, this potent chemical has a complicated flip-side. Through the contemporary use of textile mediums, Soraya Abidin, Suzanne Davey, Niki McDonald, Christina Newberry, Emma Peters and Kylie Walsh each bring their personal take on the Dopamine theme to generate a space radiating with energy and colour in a group show at GAFFA Gallery.
Look here! Now over there! Me, me, me! What, is that me? I am so in loooove! Our everyday digital world is awash with images passing before our eyes; they wow us, entertain, mesmerise, move, shock and distress us but we can’t stop looking. The puff and ruffle of our constructed social media identities razzles and dazzles us. The shiny, the new, the now, all captures our fleeting attention. That dopamine rush. Technology systems enter our virtual spaces, forever expanding and developing new ways to hook us to their particular message. Pfffft… asks what are we truly seeing? What are we really experiencing? Who are we connecting with? What does visibility mean in a media saturated world?
The Saga explores the dynamics and complexities of relationships from a feminine perspective using domestic textiles. The work responds to romantic struggles and failed relationship tales, accounts of sexual transgressions against women, both personal and collective. The sheet, with its physical proximity to skin and bodily experiences is utlised as an emotionally charged site where love and personal drama is experienced, in sickness and in health. Memories and histories, both good and bad, are embodied in the fabric stains, marks, surface rumples and gathers created by bodies tossing, turning, resting. The Saga employs romantic gesture; a floral bouquet and scattered petals, to mark the fabric through the application of heat. It uses the language of romantic opulence; ruffles, frills and gathers of gendered clothing, to question power and control in relationships and its role in creating feminine histories.
Gazing through a domestic lens our understanding of the world beyond is both revealed and concealed through ebbs and flows of knowledge. Reaching for the Moon reflects upon the complexities of our interrelationships with spaces and how cultural and social perspectives transform our experience of place.
Vintage curtains and their metaphorical associations with the discarded, the everyday, the body and gender are utilised to investigate the phenomena of viewpoint. Constructive and destructive making traditions examine tensions between the visible and the felt, interior and exterior space, social realities and romantic ideals that influence our perception and knowledge of our worlds.
The moon is often cast as a cultural mirror upon which we project notions of hope, aspirational dreams, escape, utopia, spirituality, quests for discovery or a desire for universal conquest. It’s a talisman that connects us all but we also experience it differently, depending on our cultural and social veiwpoint. Gazing upwards at the sky our concept of the moon never wanders too far from the worlds we know best.
Exhale featured in the SEED STITCH Contemporary Textile award, curated by Soraya Abidin.
Exhale aims to investigate moments in-between: between our conscious and unconscious states and the interior and exterior spaces we exist in as we navigate the the whirl of known and unknown factors in our contemporary world.