Kelly Nelissen’s sculptural piece Under the Milky Way will feature in an upcoming John Curtin Gallery survey of works selected from the Open Borders regional art project that took place around WA earlier this year. Nelissen’s work was shown at the Narrogin Open Borders exhibition at NEXIS in February. “There’s a lot of talent in Narrogin,” she said. “I didn’t think I was going to be selected, there are so many great artists here. “They select for different things and sometimes it comes down to not necessarily what it looks like but how it will fit in with other works and the story that it tells.” Nelissen’s piece combines metal work and textiles to create a rotary telephone featuring a stitched copper map of the Narrogin town site and an embroidered dial. “I’ve spent a lot of years trying to explore different forms and mediums, but I do tend to come back to textiles and metal work quite a bit because they’re familiar and different,” Nelissen said. “Metal work for me means I can do something and sort of know what it will be while textiles sometimes won’t do what you want.” Engaging with dimension and space is an important part of Nelissen’s practice. “I like to work with proportions and texture, I’ve tried painting and drawing and I can’t get that on paper whereas I find that it’s a lot more natural with sculpture.” Narrogin artists Ned Crossley and Ross Storey will also have work featuring in the Open Borders survey. “With art the important things are making contacts and being able to engage with an audience, that’s just as much a part of it as making the work,” Nelissen said. “I think Narrogin is really nice because you know everyone but you’re not necessarily in everyone’s face all the time.” Under the Milky Way is currently undergoing a light re-imagining in Nelissen’s home studio before it makes the journey to Perth to be shown in the John Curtin Gallery exhibition that opens on August 12.