When:Thursday 5 December 2019 until 1 February 2020
In January 2019, SharonPeoples spent four weeks as artist in residence at the Tuggeranong Arts Centre. The residency was a springboard for thinking and in subsequent months a new body of work was assembled to create the exhibition, Still Waters.
From the outside, Canberra is often seen as a designed city with little organic growth. Through her residency, Peoples discovered that nature has its own way of infiltrating designed environments, indicating that the environment cannot be fully controlled.
During the residency, Peoples pondered the beautiful expansive Tuggeranong landscape around the lake, admiring the designer’s skill at framing the water, hills and mountains. While revelling in the general quietness, she was also puzzled by the lack of interaction with the water during the peak of summer. Within the stillness of the lake details caught her eye, such as: the birds, the occasional dead fish, the water reflections, the plant life, and the backdrop of bird calls. The only interaction with the lake by humans was two men who regularly motored a small boat to the top end of the Lake.
Subsequently, Peoples came upon an area of blue/green algae and quickly realised the connections behind the tranquillity and the inhibition of use. Blue/green algae has made its presence felt on the Lake. Its reverberation felt downstream no doubt. This organic growth within the city is perhaps not what was imagined when it was designed.
Later it was learned that the men were scientists, checking the water readings in an effort to understand the source and typology of the toxic algae. A small area in the water was fenced off by rope with orange floats.
In her exhibition, Still Waters, Peoples will exhibit large, machine embroidered lace works that reflect the fragility of the environment. Alongside these there will be smaller hand embroidered pieces that use darn stitching as a metaphor for repair: repairing the environment. In these works, cotton thread links climate change with industrial crops, such as cotton. Layered within the use of the glass cases is the assistance glasses give to our vision. As well the ability to open and shut the cases at will.