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Wagga Wagga Art Gallery | Walking Matters

Image: Rebecca Mayo, Permeable borders, Impermeable boundaries, 2017, hemp, wool, natural dyes, sand (detail), photo by Matthew Stanton.
Wagga Wagga Art Gallery is delighted to present Walking Matters, an exhibition which brings together for the first time, the works of Antonia Aitken, Rebecca Mayo and Kirstie Rea. The three artists use walking to build knowledge and embodied experience of the places and sites they investigate in their studios. The repetitive, meditative rhythm of walking extends in different ways into each artist’s methods, which include drawing, printmaking, photography, glass, textiles and video.
The walks taken by these artists connect to local sites, revisited over a period of time. Rea’s glass works arose from a month-long residency in Cataract Gorge in Tasmania’s north, Aitken’s from her daily walks in and around Hobart, and Mayo’s from a seven-day walk down Merri Creek in Melbourne’s north. The local, quotidian nature of walking situates their practices within a place, facilitating each artist to work in ways that stretch beyond a purely representational approach to focus instead more closely on materials, movement and performativity.
Antonia Aitken is currently based in Tasmania, where she lectures in Printmaking at the University of Tasmania’s School for Creative Arts and the Riawunna Centre for Aboriginal Education. Her printmaking and drawing-based practice investigates how we engage with and interpret attachments to place within a contemporary Australian context. In this exhibition Aitken combines laser-cut plywood matrices and woodcut prints with performative drawing and video to examine how complex histories shape personal entanglements with where she walks.
Rebecca Mayo lives between Melbourne and Canberra, where she is a Lecturer in Printmedia and Drawing at the ANU School of Art & Design. Mayo’s printed textiles and the use of the multiple reflect her printmaking background. She transforms materials collected on site to make works in the studio which examine how care and labour manifest in urban ecologies.
Kirstie Rea is based in Canberra. Her recent survey at Canberra Museum and Gallery revealed the breadth and expertise of her practice in glass, which is held in international collections including the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. In this exhibition Rea combines photographic digital inkjet printing processes with her glass work to produce works which respond to the passing days reflected in the windows of the house she stayed in at Cataract Gorge in Tasmania. Her work explores the processes of gathering ideas and inspiration from the atmosphere and weather as a way of making visible relationships between earth, air and sky.
Walking Matters: Antonia Aitken, Rebecca Mayo, Kirstie Rea will be on display at the Wagga Wagga Art Gallery from Saturday 19 May until Sunday 5 August. The exhibition will be officially launched on Friday 1 June at 6pm; and Rebecca Mayo will present a public tour of her works on Saturday 2 June at 11am.
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