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wana-string-fence-lines, Katie West, 2021

wana-string-fence-lines 2021
digital video, textile, painted wall (aqua)
duration 15 minutes 30 seconds

Courtesy the artist

In making wana-string-fence-lines, Katie West reflects on growing up on a farm in the Wheatbelt region of Western Australia and recent return to live in the same agricultural area on Nooongar Ballardong boodja. The installation is a collage incorporating video, textile and the structure that holds these works, which mirrors the aqua toned 1960s era transportable house that was West’s childhood home. In the layered imagery and sound of the video, from the backyard of a rental property, driving around the Wheatbelt, West considers access to plant resources to make digging sticks and practice weaving.

West also reflects on the similarity of form that links wana (digging and fighting sticks) and string with fence lines, comprised of steel star pickets and wire, and the differing relationships to Country that guide the creation and use of these objects. In this installation, fabric found in local opportunity shops carries childhood memories of playing within the seasons of the farm, shaped by Country and agricultural tasks, bundled together with imaging the resourcefulness of grandmothers who lived on pastoral stations, reserves, and town camps in the Pilbara and Gascoyne regions of Western Australia.

Special thanks to all who attended the camp at Nowanup on Noongar Wirlomin boodja and guided the making of the sheoak wana featured in the video, and to Simon Charles for collecting the field recordings at the farm on Noongar Yued boodja.

Katie West

born Boorloo (Perth), Western Australia 1988
lives and works York, Noongar Ballardong boodja, Western Australia Katie West is an artist and Yindjibarndi woman of the Pilbara tablelands with a strong sense of home in Noongar boodja. Using found and naturally dyed textiles, video and sound, Katie creates installations and happenings to invite attention to the ways we weave our stories, places, histories and futures.

wana-string-fence-lines, Katie West, 2021

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