Exhibitions / Dazzleland

23.05.2019 to 08.06.2019

Hugo Michell Gallery, Adelaide.

My ancestors arrived in waves upon Australian shores attracted by the dazzle of this land: its sunshine, mineral booms, grassed open spaces, and new opportunities to build rich lives. In making their homes and living across Australia, particularly upon Kaurna and Bunganditj Country, many were implementers of colonising change, such as planning widespread drainage, laying bitumen, marking boundaries, mining, purveying merchandise, farming livestock, and clearing and covering land with non-native species. Evidence from their lives show they gave little consideration to the knowledge and carefully balanced ecologies which had been operating in Australia for centuries. This exhibition looks at the repercussions upon regions which have been exploited, altered and had the dazzle removed without due care and without knowledge of the specificities of Country. Through the works of Dazzleland I am asking what it means to inherit this intergenerational blindness, as well how we go forward living in this dazzling aftermath when today what shimmers most is the scorching heat beating upon a dry and damaged land.

Many works of this exhibition incorporate found domestic materials in sparkling golds and coppers, yellows, and glow-in-the-dark elements and focus their attention upon surface and blanketing heat. In Australian art history our ‘Golden Summers’ have been romanticised and eulogised, however underneath this is the knowledge that this shade of gold has been caused by damage. The soft and warming materials– wool, fabric, cottons and blankets – carry with them many colonising histories, as do the techniques of colonial knots, cross-stitch, Australiana longstitch and blackwork embroidery. These materials and methods not only indicate the growing heat across this continent but put a feminist and material lens upon the masculine myths of colonisation and domesticate the patriarchal histories of this country which it is timely to unravel and re-examine. Dazzleland is a justice driven exhibition, using the soft power activism of textiles, and I hope the works act as reminders of the need to change our trajectories and relationships with this place called home.

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I would like to acknowledge this exhibition has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body. I would also like to thank my wonderful studio assistant Christina Peek, as well as Deidre But-Husaim, Julia Robinson and my family for their ongoing support.

Pelted 2019 by Sera Waters

Pelted  2019

Pelted, 2019 Found rug wool, canvas, glow in the dark fibre, assorted wool

152 x 70cm

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Dying Shame 2019 by Sera Waters

Dying Shame  2019

Velvet, cotton, trim, repurposed materials

66 x 16cm

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(H)armless 2019 by Sera Waters

(H)armless  2019

Found woollen needlework, wool, cotton, stuffing, pine scent

100cm diameter

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Blindspot 2019 by Sera Waters

Blindspot  2019

Found frame, cotton, gold thread

35 x 38cm

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Trek for Taking 2019 by Sera Waters

Trek for Taking  2019

Woollen blankets, cotton, string (colonial knots)

80 x 110 cm

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Mutton Chops 2019 by Sera Waters

Mutton Chops  2019

Linen, cotton, beads

39 x 38 cm

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Potato People #1 2019 by Sera Waters

Potato People #1  2019

Linen, cotton, beads

39 x 38 cm

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Potato People #2 2019 by Sera Waters

Potato People #2  2019

Linen, cotton, beads

39 x 38 cm

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Milk Moustache 2019 by Sera Waters

Milk Moustache  2019

Linen, cotton, beads

39 x 38 cm

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Flesh Tearers 2019 by Sera Waters

Flesh Tearers  2019

Cotton on linen

39 x 38 cm

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Cockle Shadow 2019 by Sera Waters

Cockle Shadow  2019

Cotton on linen

39 x 38 cm

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Dear Ones in the Headlights 2019 by Sera Waters

Dear Ones in the Headlights  2019

Cotton, felt, raffia, ribbon, LED lights, crystals, chain

Approximately 80 x 120 cm

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Bitumen 2019 by Sera Waters

Bitumen  2019

Repurposed wool, sequins, cotton

Approximately 170 x 160 cm

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Self-setting-sun 2019 by Sera Waters

Self-setting-sun  2019

vinyl wallpaper (adhesive backed and removeable)

270 x 425 cm

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Sera Waters 'Dazzleland - Potato People #1' Tea Towel 2019 by Sera Waters

Sera Waters 'Dazzleland - Potato People #1' Tea Towel  2019

Printed on 'Deluxe Belgium Linen'

Measures approximately 62 x 41.5 cm

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Dazzleland -Hugo Michell Gallery 2019 by Sera Waters

Dazzleland -Hugo Michell Gallery  2019

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