Next time you see a hanging seed pod on a Queen Palm Tree, consider what it would look like turned into a car, a helicopter, a steam train or a bale of turtles. In expressing the beauty of her ancestral country, Nyoongah bush sculptor Janine McAullay Bott uses palm fronds to create exquisite objects to convey the beauty of the Nyoongah peoples of the southwest.
“When looking into the weave you can see the spirits of the native animals and the Nyoongahs they represent, depending on what is in your heart”, says McAullay Bott, whose first Perth solo exhibition Yudarn – a Nyoongah word meaning ‘to tie’ opens on 12 April at the Showcase Gallery, in Northbridge.
Representing gallery Artitja Fine Art Director Anna Kanaris says “if you were amongst the 80,000+ people who visited the sculpture@bathers exhibition in Fremantle recently you will have experienced Janine’s life size dugong which was a hugely popular sculptural work.”
“Janine has an extraordinary ability to bring to life inanimate objects she weaves, which intrigues all who view her works, from fascinated children to collectors who acknowledge her skill and uniqueness of her artform.”
Amongst her portfolio of animals are sea creatures such as stingrays, seals, turtles and dugongs; she has woven sailing boats and canoes, kookaburras, koalas and kangaroos. In fact there aren’t many native creatures McAullay Bott hasn’t woven.
Her achievements are many, including winning the Wandjuk Marika 3D Memorial Award at the 26 th Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Awards in 2009, and being exhibited at the highly prestigious Melbourne Art Fair in 2010 which immediately followed an almost sell out solo exhibition in Melbourne. Her work is part of the touring Menagerie exhibition, acquired by the Australia Museum, and her commissions include fish trap light fittings.
Almost always weaving with a light heart, and celebrating her culture, there is a sad memory which Janine felt compelled to address, that of her siblings being put into an orphanage at a young age. Her depiction of “My Brother’s Keeper” an eerily haunting sculpture of a priest wielding a cane is a somber, but necessary historical depiction.
It is no coincidence that Janine’s exhibition is opening the same evening as REVEALED – a showcase of emerging Indigenous artists from remote and regional WA at Central TAFE gallery. Janine has been invited to conduct professional workshops with the artists, and will also be demonstrating her weaving skills, alongside other Indigenous weavers in a public display on Saturday 13 th April.
Janine McAullay Bott YUDARN exhibition is free to the public opening 6.30pm, Friday 12 April and runs to 20 April daily from 11am to 5pm (closed Sunday) at Showcase Gallery at Central Tafe, Cnr Aberdeen & Beaufort Streets, Northbridge
Showcase Gallery at Central Tafe,
Cnr Aberdeen & Beaufort Streets,