My Place, 2013

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My Place, 2013 linked objects and stories from people who had moved to Australia either as refugees or as immigrants.  It explores the notions of history, memory and place and how we use objects to link our past and present places.  This project was a community project facilitated by the artist, Michele Donegan in conjunction with jesuit Social Services.  We worked at the Flemington High Rise with people from Somalia, Eritria, Pakistan, The Oromia region of Ethiopia, Vietnam, China and Eygpt.  These people learn English with Jesuit Social Services  and we explored how the objects could tell a story and help link people to their new place.  The Exhibition displayed photographs, objects and stories at the local library in Flemington and helps develop empathy and acceptance of all people in our community.  It was visited by many school groups as well as local members of the Flemington and Kensington Community.  it was so popular the Library extended the exhibition from 6 to 10 weeks.

cast skin 2, 2013

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cast skin, 2013 was a solo show at Trocadero Art Space in Footscray consisted of latex and resin casts of found objects that are paired together and displayed as 'families' on light boxes.  These objects were scanned and the photographs printed on metallic paper.  A film and sound (in collaboration with Rory Donegan) was projected into the space and the sound filled the space.  The film was representative of places of significance in my life where the objects were originally collected.  A hand made journal was collated recording thoughts, images, drawings and maps from these places.  This work is about collecting and transforming and is derived from travelling, history and memory.


cast skin, 2012

"Place is latitudinal and longitudinal within the map of a person's life.  It is temporal and spatial, personal and political.  A layered location replete with human histories and memories, place has width as well as depth."
Lucy Lippard
cast skin 2012  is a collection of works that revisit, reconstruct and map my personal history through an exploration of place and landscape.  The creation of this work has allowed me to re-enter my life, rediscover my history, and map my own story through landscape, memory and making.  It incorporates travelling to, and making work in places of personal significance in my life.  I am a product of having lived in some very unique places, each with its own values, culture and context.  Cast skin captures this story through time, space and materials. 

Rock casts, found objects and transformations of these objects are on display.  A looped walking film traces my footsteps over the rocky desert ground of Broken Hill where I grew up.  The crunch of these footsteps is audible in the space. Thoughts expressed as text, images, drawings and maps are incorporated into a personal hand made journal.  A suspended, twisted and undulating steel wire weaves its way as a drawn contour line through the corridors and gallery spaces.  The contour line is a metaphysical drawing together of the threads of my life and functions as a timeline.


Thoughts from my journal for cast skin


Friday, July 6, 2012,  Broken Hill, Sundown Track

I've loved being alone,
feeling the sun on my face,
the cold breeze tracing my skin
hearing familiar sounds-
flies, wind, birds, distant vehicles,
the crunch of the ground as I walk.
My eyes drink in the landscape,
hungry for it, in the vast, wide
big sky.
Seeing familiar images
red dirt, native grassy tufts,
small stones, large rocks, sticks,
scrubby trees lining hills.
Sensing the cold air as the sun goes down
and first thing in the morning.
Things you think you've forgotten.
So distant past,
you can't remember them
to know they are forgotten.
But once immersed, they are there
so ingrained in your memory of senses
that they form a ground
on which the rest of life is drawn.

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Copyright 2012 Michele Donegan.