9 February – 31 March | Gallery 1
Louise Saxton is a mixed media and assemblage artist based in Melbourne who, for the past 13 years has worked primarily with discarded and disinherited needlework. Through a long-term commitment to materials originally made by others and an exacting and painstaking process of reconstruction and homage, the artist has sought to elevate, once everyday and now disappearing, domestic linens.
The Linen Project is a new body of work, which celebrates the embroidery and lace that Saxton is known for extracting, reimagining and reconstructing, and now also brings to light the inherent beauty and humanity found in the linens, cottons and silks, which held the needlework in place.
This major exhibition pays homage to past lives and past labour, featuring unique textile assemblages created by Louise Saxton from discarded and disinherited domestic linens, collected over several decades. This new body of work celebrates and reflects upon the importance of everyday linens in caring for family and community.
The Linen Project has been generously supported by the St Vincent’s Hospital Artist in Residence Program located at Caritas Christi Hospice, Kew.
The Linen Project was officially launched on Saturday February 9th by Rural City of Wangaratta Councillor David Fuller and guest speaker Dr Catherine Bell
Dr Catherine Bell is a multi-disciplinary artist and Associate Professor teaching visual art in the Faculty of Education and Arts, Australian Catholic University. She holds a BA (Art History & English Literature) from the University of Queensland, Bachelor of Visual Arts (Sculpture) from Queensland University of Technology, MFA (Sculpture) from RMIT University, DPhil (Fine Art) from Monash University, and was a research fellow at the Ruskin School of Fine Art, Oxford University. Her 25 year art practice explores the role of the artist in the archive and healthcare setting,
art on the margins, socially-engaged, participatory and relational art practices, redefining the female in contemporary society and challenging taboos surrounding death and dying. Recent art in health projects in the Oncology ward at St Vincent’s Hospital and Caritas Christi Hospice in Melbourne involve implementing communal creativity with patients and staff to promote healthy and meaningful discussion to death and the dying. She is represented by Sutton Gallery, Melbourne.
image: Louise Saxton, Wall Garden, 2016-2017, detail, H 300 x W 192cm, reclaimed needlework, lace-pins, nylon tulle, acrylic battens. © Louise Saxton, courtesy of the artist and Gould Creative. Photo by Gavin Hansford.
image: Dr Catherine Bell, Councillor David Fuller, Louise Saxton at the opening of Louise Saxton: The Linen Project at the Wangaratta Art Gallery