February 4 – March 7 2021, Benefactors Gallery.

The second exhibition in CAM’s Orbit program; a series of exhibitions by artists who live and work in Central Victoria.

Ilka White’s practice spans projects in textiles, sculpture and installation, art-in-community and cross-disciplinary collaboration. Direct engagement with the natural world and a love for ‘primary’ skills and world textile traditions inform the way she lives, makes and teaches.

In 2000 Ilka undertook a Churchill fellowship, learning from weavers of traditional textiles in Indonesia, India, Nepal and Bhutan. This journey strengthened her appreciation for work that grows directly from the maker’s history, place and cultural identity. Her work has explored relationships between the mind, body, time and place, and questioned the separation of these elements. Ilka has produced work in response to Newhaven bird reserve on the edge of the Tanami desert and walked the Great South West Walk on Victoria’s coast to further her immersive approach to art making.  In 2010 she produced a shadow puppet play with St Pauls Community on Moa Island in the Torres Strait about the threat ‘Ghost nets’ pose to saltwater people and their environment.

During Covid’s great pause, adventures in foraging and ferment have deepened her appreciation for local plants and waterways, weeds, seeds and root vegetables.

‘here now’ continues this local focus, working to strengthen connections with this place and community. Ilka will be making in the gallery throughout the month; connecting with elders, ecologists, artists and storytellers, recognising our interconnection with the whole living system and working out what we can give for love of this place.

Gallery visitors are invited to join Ilka in conversation about what’s giving our community hope in these changing times. What ideas, people, or initiatives are building resilience and prioritising care? Ilka will map the essence of these conversations, building a community network or fascia of connective tissue on the gallery wall with notes, pins and thread.

Taking encouragement from the ‘butterfly effect’, this approach recognises that a small action or offering that might not seem important may in fact influence widespread change.

Ilka plans to be in the gallery Thursdays, Fridays and most Sundays.

Come on in!

 

Image: Ilka White and Kristian Laemmle-Ruff, Heron, midwinter dawn 2014,  photographic pint, AP Edition 5, mask of wild oats, copper, silver, Merri creek billabong, presence, time. Image courtesy of Ilka White.

Supported by: The Victorian Government through Creative Victoria’s Strategic Investment Fund.