“To celebrate the Wangaratta Performing Arts and Convention Centre’s tenth birthday anniversary, Wangaratta Art Gallery presents two performance based artists during the month of September. Video works are screened, with feature performances by each artist scheduled throughtout the exhibition duration. Both Melanie Irwin and Kay Abude are multi-disiplinary contemporary artists who present to the Wangaratta community unique approaches to the practice and delivery of performance art.”
Wangaratta Art Gallery, didactic panels
Images taken from the workshop, in gallery two of the Wangaratta Art Gallery.
“This was a unique chance to be a participant in 'THE ART OF PERFORMANCE -Performing Textiles with Melbourne based artist Kay Abude. Performing Textiles was a 3-hour performance workshop engaging in ideas of work and labour developed and facilitated by Melbourne-based artist Kay Abude. Participants took part in a hands on process-based workshop responding to historical research from the 1900s Abude has collected on Wangaratta as the ‘Town of Textiles’. “ - WAG event description.
Wangaratta is my home town, I enjoyed many years finding inspiration in the nature I was surrounded with, the community I felt connected with, and the thriving textiles industry and textile artists. I had a close connection to the Wangaratta Wollen Mills as growing up my Dad worked there. I never got to go inside the factory, nor was I interested in what was inside. However after this workshop I wish I had.
“Participants will develop performative artworks in response to photographs of manufacturing by Wolfgang Sievers, stories from Bruck Textiles and the Wangaratta Woolen Mills.” - WAG event description.
Bruck Mills Factory Interior, Wolfgang Sievers 1954, gelatin silver photograph, 20 x 25cm
Kay brought in tables worth of materials, photocopies of Sievers photographs, off cuts of fabric from her Gertrude Street Studio, wool, string, paint and more! It was so we could create artwork in response to Wangaratta’s rich history of textiles. I decided to design some wearable art. Starting off with some of Wolfgang’s photographs. I made the top half out of canvas off cuts and the bottom from black silk. I used red and white wool to attach my favourite images. And weave the word ‘machine’ to the front of the garment.
Kay Abude is an artist engaged in many forms of making, including sculpture, large-scale installation, performance, photography and silk-screen printing. A current Gertrude Studio Artist 2019-2021, Abude is interested in the nature of labour, with its economic, repetitive and somatic properties, and how work connects and divides us. (Kay artists bio)
I was familiar with Kay as an artist from her work in the Castlemaine Art Festival. “WORK WORTH DOING integrates art into local Castlemaine business Shedshaker Brewery and Taproom by inviting workers to don garments silkscreen printed with the words ‘Work Worth Doing’ during the 10-day festival. The words are adapted from a speech made by Theodore Roosevelt in 1903 – “Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing”.” Artist statement from Kays Website.
It was an amazing opportunity to reconnect with the local community after investing more of myself in my current home town of Bendigo. It has been a hard transition these past few years, moving to a new city, finishing my degree, starting new employment, and making art.
This workshop invigorated my creativity! Working alongside the other participants and Kay has helped me in wanting to keep up my research, my networks, and my community.