The Currawong bird call repeats as dusk approaches and a warm spring air is present. The sun sets over the top paddock as the kangaroos graze on the grass below. My fingernail beds are coated in dirt, after a day of play whilst my gumboots are damp on the inside. An overwhelming sense of bliss pervades my being.

My artistic practice explores my personal memories of childhood, through the materiality of textiles, to understand my enduring yearning for my blissful youth.

The bittersweet feeling of homesickness for a time and place existing in the past has become my purpose to create. My recent work Cut from the Same Cloth serves as a means to metaphorically return home. Through my process of making, I subconsciously explore these nostalgic memories, overcoming my persistent yearning for the past, by vicariously experiencing these sentimental memories through the manifestations of my artwork.

The textile work that I have created, provides a comforting, sensory space, tall enough to stand in and wide enough to lie under. I invite individuals to take in the rich, earthy hues derived from the stains that adorn the fabric. The visual aspects of the work are accompanied by an audio composition, which melds my childhood memories with serenades of Australian birds and other familiar auditory elements, creating an evocative and relatable experience through the realms of nostalgia.

I acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which I live and work; the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. I pay my respects to their Elders, past, present, and emerging. I also extend my recognition to the traditional owners of the land in Mansfield, Victoria, located in the traditional lands of the Taungurung people. My practice is largely inspired by the landscape and I am committed to fostering a deeper understanding of the enduring connections to the land that inspires my work.


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Anthea Cleary