REmida Residency and Exhibition

The month of March is over and with it my residency time at REmida in West Perth. Whilst it is lovely to be back in my home studio of Stackwood (and within 10m of a cafe again) I will miss the amazing people, space, and that magical room of infinite recycled artsy supplies.

The culmination of my residency was on Saturday in the form of a small exhibition at the REmida open day. I shared the gallery space with incredible artist Carly Lynch and her thoughtful, playful, experimental videos (check out her work at https://c-lynch.com/home.html ). It was wonderful to chat with the various characters who came by.

Thank you so much to the amazing team, especially Natalie for the support and encouragement. I learned so much from my time there and am grateful for the opportunity to explore so many ideas.

I began my residency at REmida at the start of March, with an intention to explore ideas around ‘yarn bombing’. This is the practice of using crochet, knitting, or other textile techniques to draw attention to or beautify a wall, bench, rubbish bin, or other public space. Following a similar ideology to street artists, 'yarn-bombers' use their craft both to embrace and resist aspects of their community. Furthermore, as a traditionally 'woman's craft', bringing crochet to the streets can be a way of taking this craft outside of 'homemaker' restrictions and into the public sphere. Often political in nature, this process emphasises sustainability, recycling materials, and resourcefulness.

Using materials found in the REmida work room and rescued ‘junk’ from verge collections, I created a piece that is soft and intimate. Utilising muted colour palettes inspired by the Australian bush, the pieces were crocheted in a way that grew in layers, similar to the way sedimentary rocks appear when stratified. Each piece is labour intensive, taking 15-20 hours to complete.

This work is different to traditional yarn-bombing practices because it is not fixed to objects in public places. Whilst still paying homage to the craft, this work steers it into a more private space, bringing softness and intimacy to harsh metal objects.

The work will be on display again at the Haxa House Show as a part of the Propel Youth Arts Festival.

Leah Vlatko