Familiar Objects & Feral Arrangements

Curated by Elizabeth Smith

The Lobby

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About the Exhibit

Mordant – a reagent or chemical that works by combining with a dye to form an insoluble compound; to fix a dye in or on a substance (material); to bite; to be incisive and trenchant; to be acutely painful; a corrosive substance used in etching; an adhesive for binding gold or silver leaf to a surface.”

The foundations for this exhibition are generated from the multifaceted meaning of mordant characterised by the interaction of divergent forces, speaking to processes of corroding and combining, rearranging and transformation, alteration and metamorphosis. It performs an entanglement of matter and meaning.

Familiar domestic objects like televisions, quilts, pumice (an exfoliant sometimes found in bathroom cupboards), plaster bandage wrap and broken things yoke together in this exhibition. In some ways, Familiar Objects & Feral Arrangements is an ode to the curator’s discovery of the word mordant and the process of getting comfortable with its meaning. In another way it’s a celebration of a space: The Lobby, which performs its role as both a home and a gallery. Familiar objects mutate and swallow the space whole. They question what is stable and normal and they transform our regularly held ideas into something that is non-dualistic, but lively and in a constant state of flux.

Understanding the term mordant means understanding the interaction of opposing forces.

 How can one word simultaneously embody notions of combining and corroding? The opposing and entangled forces at work in mordant play out in the feral arrangements of four artists: Samuel Beilby, Darcy Palladino, Luisa Hansal, and Jess Day.

T(h)read Lightly

2020. Naturally dyed fabric, and thread.

The repurposing of discarded “feral” fabrics or offcuts improvised and reinvigorated into a new fabric creation. Dyed with local flora, creating a snapshot of the local landscape immortalised in a comforting “homely” quilt. Oversized and cocoon-like, this soothing interlude makes way for a repurposing of another kind. 

Using Format