Photo - Louis Lim.

Elisa Jane Carmichael's Incredible New Weaves Explore The Materiality Of Climate Change

Ngugi artist Elisa Jane Carmichael brings together oyster shells, feathers, pandanus leaves, fish scales, ungaire and photography for her new show, ‘Present Surroundings’.

Sasha Gattermayr
24th of March 2021

Elisa Jane Carmichael is a Ngugi woman, artist and weaver from Quandamooka Country. She honours her salt-water heritage by including materials collected from Country into her multidisciplinary practice, which spans weaving, painting, photo media and textiles. Her new show at OneSpace Gallery, Present Surroundings, explores Country, climate change and the impacts of mining through a series of woven and photographic works.

Weaving is the axis of Elisa’s artistic pursuit, centring the specific cultural traditions that were nearly lost to colonial erasure a decade ago. But in this show, Elisa also mixes her experiments with early photographic mediums (called cyanotypes and photograms) through her woven sculptural works.

Ladles whittled from timber and oysters sit alongside a pile of eugarie shells covered in wire mesh or gulayi bags adorned with feathers, while the photographic prints resemble film negatives and expose a new side to these familiar substances Elisa works with all the time.

‘I chose these materials as I am interested in ways our weaves and materials from Country can have their own imagery,’ says Elisa. ‘Through the process of cyanotypes and photograms, materials like saltwater, sand, gulayi (Quandamooka women’s bag) and reed necklaces have developed their own marks and imagery.’

The fusion of ancient and contemporary material expressions is at the heart of Elisa’s tactile practice, and one that best explores the changing relationship between the sky, land, sands and waters over time.

‘Over the last decade I have observed the beaches shifting and changing, loss of land and trees on the shorelines, our freshwater levels decreasing and discarded materials washing up with high tides while the seasons are varying,’ says Elisa. It’s a prescient and timely exploration into seasonal shift and changing weather.

Present Surroundings
26th March – 24th April 2021
Tuesday to Friday 10am – 6pm
Saturday 11am – 5pm

OneSpace Gallery
4/349 Montague Road
West End, Queensland

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