in situ Sharifah Emalia Al-Gadrie and Tilley Wood, 2020. Digital image, dimensions variable.
situated in the original, natural, or existing place or position
in situ celebrates the importance of collaboration and community building beyond oneself as an individual. It symbolically documents acts of care given and received in our communities through significant cultural, physical and emotional collaboration.
In nurturing and nourishing those around you, your community flourishes. This show distils acts of care into motifs of flowers and wrapped objects. The symbolism of wrapping objects highlights the weight they carry as objects of sentiment – markers of care given and received in life. The artists rely on one another to transform an unadorned space into one of sensory comfort, demonstrating the necessity of connection and collaboration between individuals and community. Both of these processes render invisible acts of care into tangible forms. Throughout the duration of the exhibition, the decorated installation is left unattended and will begin to wither, reflecting the disrepair that follows when care is neglected.
Textiles underpin our collaborative practice as whole and are chosen especially as the grounding medium in this work because of their timeless, universal adaptability. They carry an innate sense of nurture – from the moment we are born and swaddled, textiles are inextricably woven into and help create the very fabric of our lives. In a broader sense, the sentiment of community and world care is upheld by the act of repurposing waste textiles, transforming waste through a process of nurture.
We developed in situ in mid-2019, as a tribute to documenting the care that we saw and experienced within our communities. Presenting this exhibition in the wake of a global pandemic has forced us to reconsider our relationship to the themes and execution of this body of work. We have collectively seen, on a global scale, the importance of care within communities and the disastrous consequences when care is absent. Though COVID-19 was not the driving force to create in situ; to us, it has highlighted the importance of celebrating care and this is something that is now more important than ever. We reject that masks have become a misaligned and negative symbol of the pandemic in Australia. We wear them to acknowledge the changes wrought on communities by coronavirus and reclaim them as a positive symbol of care and consideration.
- July 2020
in situ is exhibited at Top Gallery, Salamanca Arts Centre from the 10th August until 12th September. The opening performance will be live streamed on Instagram, @tilleyandemalia at 7pm 8th August. For further information visit www.salarts.org.au/event/in-situ.