Cairns artist’s evolutionary practise a textural & truth telling revelation

Published by: Pip Miller PR | 20-Feb-2023
Thought provoking and eye catching is a corporeal, site-specific and multi-sensory installation by Cairns-based, Canadian-born artist India Collins which at NorthSite Contemporary Arts this month until 18 March 2023.
Venue: NorthSite Contemporary Arts
Address: 96 Abbott Street Cairns
Date: 3 Feb to 18 March 2023
Time: 10am to 5pm
Call: 0740509494
Made of pre-worn women’s clothing and embodying the experience and stories of local women, Collins’ e VULVA lution comprises eight works in total which knit together existing works (created in the past five years) with new technologies, digital and material responses.

For the artist, the exhibition’s importance is steeped in a call to action for female identifying audience members to contribute their own garments and stories via a Golden Mailbox at the gallery or remotely via a link (see below). Over the next year the artist will weave new works with donated clothing items while wrapping together individual and collective narratives that are shared.

“This call to action is intended to be both cathartic and symbolic and somewhat reminiscent of a purge, can slam dunk them into the net housed within the gallery space,” Ms Collins said.

According to Ms Collins the provenance of her earlier works currently featured in the exhibition were borne from the FLAME project, a mentoring program for young women artists initiated by the Tanks Art Centre. For five consecutive years, India was invited to mentor a small group of young women which culminated in the production of a new work slated for the annual International Women's Day exhibition.

“The program continues to grow and is aimed at teaching these young artists the importance and value of maintaining an arts practice as ongoing personal development - even if it falls outside their preferred area of study or is not their main career choice,” she said.

“The creation of my own work during these mentorships was a great catalyst to explore new mediums and develop new themes authentically aligned with who I was becoming as a person.

“The focus for these artworks was on the message and the process, not on the outcome. For me personally, it was evolutionary and guided me into new areas of experimental textile practice.” Visit to find out more and be involved.

e VULVA lution Artist Exhibition Statement

“Drawing down on contemporary symbolism and elements of pop culture, my work presents playful and exaggerated sexualised imagery luring the audience in to reveal more serious stories to share women’s (home) truths.

“The materials I use in my weaves once sat against skin and harnessed energy which means they still hold an embodied memory and meaning.

“Previously these clothes may have enabled us to be seen as we chose, they may have contributed to our individual style and identity or told of our social status. They may have marked milestones or major days in our lives.

“These materials may have once kept us protected, they may have sexualized us, they may have empowered us, spoken for us when we had no words, or assisted us to go unnoticed through our days, allowing us to either fit in or stand out in society.

“Ultimately each clothing item I incorporate into an art piece, retains the intimate memories of women’s experiences within its fibres.

“I hope this project and installation shines a spotlight on the multiplicity of women’s stories, our plurality and commonality, the cause & effect of positionality and how bias, assumption and opinion inevitably lead to stigma,” she said.

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