Cover image of the review
Title image: (detail) Katie West, _keeping pieces, yirarlla_, 2018, calico dyed with eucalyptus and puff ball, dimensions variable.)

Katie West: warna (ground)

15 Dec 2018
7 Dec - 22 Dec 2018

Warna (ground) is a deceptively small exhibition at the artist-run gallery Caves, located on level 6 of the Nicholas Building on Swanston Street. The space itself measures about four-metres squared. The show comprises three small works, each composed of a piece of canvas that Katie West, a Yindjibarndi woman who grew up in rural Western Australia, has dyed using eucalyptus leaves, bark and flowers she collected, wrapped in the canvas sheets and then placed in a pot of water that boils over a fire. In the room sheet, West suggests that through this process the canvases become infused with the material qualities of the eucalyptus, its colour and scent.

Warna (ground) looks minimalist. Not only because three works are spread relatively sparsely throughout the space, but also because of the exhibition's direct phenomenological address to the viewer—a gentle presence that is felt before it is seen. My first feeling entering the space was of an external, spatial calmness that is, in spite of the containment of Caves, akin to a cavernous Renaissance church.

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