this year I was invited to participate in an exhibition being held for the Latvian Cultural Festival that has been held around Australia between Christmas and New Year since 1951
the exhibition title "past present future" prompted me to create this autobiographical piece.
loosely based on traditional Latvian costume it includes an apron, a striped wool skirt, a wool blanket, a found antique linen blouse and rather a lot of bones.
the stitched text translates poetically as "I'm walking and wondering why I leave no footprints" and is borrowed from a poem by Janis Elsbergs
(the literal translation is somewhat more specific)
dyed with eucalyptus, local colour infusing into something from elsewhere, from the ground up.
the apron was reconstructed from a linen shirt and other items sourced during a trip to Latvia in August this year.
thank you Lufthansa for the nice cotton napkin you left in my lap, which somehow became attached as well and which serendipitously made sense, as my background is Latvian and German.
the pockets full of whitewashed bones represent the cell memories we each carry within us and which I am convinced are handed down from one generation to the next.
I was born in the late 50s, and raised as a "European in exile", a child of two displaced persons from two different cultures.
but the Australian landscape got under my skin.
I installed the work yesterday.
it was the last piece to go in, the rest of the exhibition had already been hung.
frankly my work looks rather 'out of place' compared to the rest...everything else is precisely formed/woven/wrought/cut/stitched/shaped...I think it sticks out like the proverbial bull terrier's testicles.
I guess that's the truth as well.
and if it isn't true, it isn't worth doing.