(Nothing But) Flowers
Boom Gallery, August 2018
(Part of Craft Victoria // Craft Cubed, 2018)
(Nothing But) Flowers was a solo exhibition exploring the possibilities of felt as a medium. The title comes from a Talking Heads song, which postulates a future society that has reverted to a natural state, devoid of modern conveniences. The song followed me around all summer - on the radio, a surprise shuffle coming through my headphones, a niggling ear worm. At the same time I was considering new giant needle felted forms and how they might look in a later stage of evolution, returned to the earth or melting into the scenery around them - in a world akin to that which David Byrne hypothesises in the song.
Felting is an ancient technique and uses only basic tools and materials. These new large-scale pieces are made entirely by hand using unspun wool and techniques of wet and dry felting that draw on the fundamental elements of moisture, friction and heat. The process of making is a simplistic yet strenuous and time consuming one, and correlates with the exploration of a world without mod-cons and technological advances.
The subjects: some are universally recognisable from a world gone before (the plate of breakfast, the flower from a domestic garden) and some have morphed beyond recognition - just amorphous shapes and blobs. The felt is laid over bases created from recycled packing foam, a remnant of an over-packaged world left behind.
(Nothing But) Flowers, much like the song it is named after, imagines a post-urban world, told through my abstracted characters - the faces of which could be construed as peaceful, or melancholy - depending on how you might enjoy this version of the future.
There was a shopping mall / Now it’s all covered with flowers / You’ve got it, you’ve got it
- David Byrne, (Nothing But) Flowers, 1988