By Sally Blake
Foyer Gallery > 6 April – 27 May 2018
Opening night | 5:30pm Friday 6 April 2018
Artist Sally Blake explores the relationship between her internal world – a world of images, feelings, thoughts, intuitions, dreams and memories – and the outer world of nature. She has found ways to collaborate with natural processes, including plants and their dyes, to make artworks. Iteration brings together a number of paper-based works created over the past 8 years. The works arise in the potential space between self and nature, sharing a common theme of repetitious and meditative working processes utilising stitch, pinpricks, pencil, paint and plant dyes. These works explore a number of themes, including personal grief and the solace found in small, repeated marks that create rippling, water like patterns; and the limited palettes of paper, pinprick and stitch to visualise an infinite net structure which examines the interconnected nature of all life.
Intensive, repetitive making creates a state of increased awareness where thought and feeling are not bound by inner or outer reality but are allowed to intermingle between the two. Repetitive making generates potential space where thoughts and feelings move spontaneously and are not impeded by regular, everyday concerns. Through using iterative marks, Blake is able to create both emergent and complex patterning on the paper’s surface. The patterning is a visualisation of the interrelations between her inner and outer worlds, and the connections between humans and nature.
Blake is constantly examining and exploring the potential space between inner and outer reality. Potential space is a psychoanalytic concept recognised by paediatrician Donald D. Winnicott and he proposes that potential space is a “third part of human life…an intermediate area of experiencing, to which inner reality and external life both contribute.” Blake recognises this space as a state of mind which allows for imagination and creative ways of understanding the connections between inner and outer worlds, and in her practice, she develops and reconfigures Winnicott’s concept of potential space to examine the relationship between self and nature.
About Sally Blake >
Canberra-based artist Sally Blake works across a number of textile techniques – dyeing, basketry, weaving, stitching, piecing – as well as paper-based media. She completed her PhD studies in the Textiles workshop at the ANU School of Art & Design in 2015, and exhibits widely in Australia and internationally. Blake’s work is held in Canberra Museum and Gallery, the Australian National University, the Australian National Botanical Gardens and the ACT Legislative Assembly, as well as a number of private collections. In 2016 she received Australia Council funding for a project in which she tested eucalypt leaves and bark at the Australian National Botanical Gardens for their dyes. This year, she has ArtsACT funding to do research on eucalypts growing locally in the ACT. She is collecting local eucalypt stories and dyes to make a record of place.