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Nalda Searles is a living icon of Western Australian art. For nearly thirty years she has been an innovator in the use of native plant fibres and found objects from the environment for the production of fibre-textiles, sculpture and installation artworks.
Her exhibition ‘Nalda Searles – Drifting in My Own Land’ is an expression of identity in relation to physical and social landscape. Searles has drawn on her own life, memories of her parents and the experiences of numerous regional women she has known in the gradual development of the twenty one exhibition works on view. They make some of the most haunting poetic statements to emerge from Western Australia’s fibre textile sculpture movement and include a grass skull, stately kangaroo headed figures, a vessel woven from the artists own hair and a salvaged pram watched over by a flock of grass birds.
The exhibition is accompanied by a major publication presenting Searles’ works within the context of her remarkable three decade career and is complimented by an evocative DVD, ‘Nalda Searles – A Stitching of Words. Interpretations of Making and Making Do’, that introduces the artist, her thinking processes and working habits – in her own voice. ‘Nalda Searles – Drifting in My Own Land’ provides insight into the vision of one of Western Australia’s unique and evocative practitioners.
‘Nalda Searles – Drifting in My Own Land’ presents new works created by Searles in an intensive period of creativity made possible through funding from the Western Australian Government. Thanks to ART ON THE MOVE and Visions of Australia, this memorable exhibition will tour throughout regional Western Australia and nationally between 2009 and 2013.
The national tour of this exhibition is managed by ART ON THE MOVE. This exhibition is supported by Visions of Australia, an Australian Government program supporting touring exhibitions by providing funding assistance for the development and touring of Australian cultural material across Australia.
Nalda Searles, ‘Siphon’ 2007, common fodder, red wool blanket, cotton thread, 310 x 310 x 380mm.
Photograph: Eva Fernandez, Acknowledgment: Fodder sourced from Peter and Daphne Tye in Dardanup, WA, 2007/2008