This exhibition was curated by Rilka Oakley and plays with the parallels found between the artist collecting for creative inspiration and the tourist collecting souvenirs as a reminder of place. Just as artists (and tourists) travel to the Blue Mountains to capture the stunning views and magnificent landscape, travel to other places is key to the creative process of many of the artists who live and work there. Other artists in the exhibition include David Brazil, Elaine Campaner, Ona Janzen, Mathew Lynn, Judith Martinez, Brad Moore, Janelle Randall-Court, Wendy Tsai and Kayo Yokoyama.
The keepsake plays an important role in my own art practice. I search for objects that I feel are imbued with a certain meaning – especially old toys, dolls and marionettes – and use them to create a narrative. The narrative is often based on fairytales, myths or popular culture – the toys become the characters and the old tins, boxes and containers become the stage. This new context alters the toys meaning and allows me to juxtapose notions of childhood, innocence and wonder against adult themes of desire, fear and death. I often cut up the toys and reconstruct them with handmade mechanisms and create motion and sound by using music-box movements. Wind a key and a ventriloquist dummy’s head will rotate like a fairground clown from Luna Park – or the maiden, Europa, might ride a bucking bull whilst her handmaiden twirls with surprise.