1 Million Years by Hayley West
Screen Room NCCA Exhibitions # 1 Opening: Friday 21 March Runs: 22 March to 19 April Exhibition: 1 million years Artist: Hayley West 1 million years sees the return of another former Darwin-based artist to NCCA, with NSW-based Hayley West employing sculpture and video-based performance to address persistent themes in her work relating to the ‘vestigial’: the embodiment of memory, archive and grief. As the artist states: The term ‘vestigial’ is an anatomical term used for the description of, most commonly, vestigial organs or structures. Through the process of evolution, vestigial organs are those that have lost all or most of their original function. Humans’ best-known vestigial organs are the appendix, coccyx and wisdom teeth. These organs have been ‘left behind’ to serve no, or very little, purpose. Where ‘vestiges’ are a trace or mark of something left behind from something or someone who once existed, vestigial is in my view something more visceral, experienced as a surviving object or unwavering memory that can never leave.
NCCA’s Screen Room will become a ‘makeshift temple’ through fabric-based sculptures and a video work in which West performs a series of acts in a prehistoric-like ‘grotto’ setting in the Blue Mountains where she resides. These acts broadly suggest family histories, bereavement and the vestigial. ‘By contextualising the vestigial into a contemporary art framework’, states West, ‘there is an attempt to alleviate grief, relax impending emotional upheavals, or assist in the recovery of supressed or avoided emotions’. Hayley West is currently a Masters candidate (by research) at Charles Darwin University. She has exhibited throughout Australia and internationally, and has held artist-residencies in London, Paris, Kuala Lumpur and Hill End (NSW). 1 million years is her seventh solo exhibition. GALLERY HOURS Wed-Fri 10am-4pm Sat 10am-2pm or by appointment (closed on public holidays)