Intersections: Two artist’s approach to landscape through dialogue, making and getting lost
4 February - 20 March 2021
Janet DeBoos | Wendy Teakel
Intersections will present new works by respected ceramic artist Janet DeBoos and contemporary visual artist Wendy Teakel. The exhibition will include ceramics, drawings, paintings and sculptures which will explore the premise of ‘getting lost’ as an approach to creative practice. Rebecca Solnit’s “A Field Guide to Getting Lost” will be a point of departure for this research. Solnit suggests that people can get lost by simply not paying attention but advocates a better way to be lost, is in Walter Benjamin’s terms, “to be fully present …capable of being in uncertainty and mystery. And (to make) a conscious choice, a chosen surrender, a psychic state achievable through geography”.
But throughout 2020, ‘geography’ changed. What started out as a desire of both Teakel and DeBoos to explore the idea of their place (predicated on an understanding that they lived on colonised land)- became a year of uncertainty and shifting visions. The country in which they ‘got lost’ was Covid19, and the place where they sought to make sense of the changes came to be the bush environment around DeBoos’ home in the Brindabellas.
Teakel’s understanding of farmed, rural NSW brought containment – farm fencing, demarcation, holding paddocks and barbed wire- to this collaborative way of approaching place. DeBoos brought the botany of native flora, and the way in which that botany can invade- and define- our space through decorative art tropes such as the vase. But as Covid closed borders to travel, DeBoos’ regular engagement with China (and the home of porcelain) ended and what had been an attempt at a hybrid understanding of home and place- faded, and was profoundly affected by the very ‘Australian-ness’ of Teakel’s lens.
The works in this exhibition are themselves like diary entries, created as the two artists travelled the year, losing sight, getting lost and finding that their sense of home is not as fixed as they may have once argued- not fixed in any geographical sense- yet somehow inescapable.