Travelling exhibition featuring 11 artists from across WA set to take over NEXIS in Narrogin

Isabel VieiraNarrogin Observer
Dianne Strahan
Camera IconDianne Strahan Credit: Isabel Vieira/Narrogin Observer

The NEXIS exhibition space will showcase a diverse range of work from the artist collective ‘We must get together some time’ as part of their travelling exhibition.

The collective features 11 artists from across WA who specialise in making art through a long-term process using a variety of mediums such as textiles, natural materials, found objects, ceramics, videos and creative writing.

The self-titled exhibition was part of the inaugural Indian Ocean Craft Triennial — a series of events and exhibitions featuring contemporary artists living in countries across the Indian Ocean last year.

The exhibition was on display at Contemporary Art Spaces Mandurah and the Mandurah Performing Arts and Events Centre before it travelled to the Painted Tree Gallery in Northcliffe.

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It is now set to bring the walls of Narrogin’s NEXIS venue to life from February 12 to March 12.

Narrogin’s Dianne Strahan, one of the artists who is part of the collective, will be showcasing her multimedia print and botanical artwork.

Strahan specialises in botanical printmaking in which she collects natural materials from her environment and prints with them on to wool, silk, cotton or paper.

“I’ve always had a love for plants, which I inherited from both of my parents, and I loved being able to combine that with arts,” she said.

“It all starts with a bush walk or a garden walk getting out and enjoying being in nature.

“Picking up a leaf here and there, I can’t go anywhere without picking up something and then I come home and print with it.”

Strahan often uses elements such as aluminium or iron to emphasise the natural colours of flora such as eucalyptus leaves to create unique patterns.

After the printmaking and steaming process, Strahan then transforms the materials into woven art pieces or handmade books by using a 2000-year-old coptic binding technique.

“I started out with dyeing silks with commercial dye about 10 years ago and then I started adding leaves to the mix and printing with them,” Strahan said.

“I’ve spent the last couple of years basically looking at different things that can be printed on, anything from rocks, rusty tin, bits and pieces that I find on the foreshore.”

Strahan said she enjoys the botanical printmaking process because she never knows what she is going to create.

“At different times in the year the same plant will give you different things, depends what time in the cycle they are in and what the weather is like,” she said.

“The leaves will have different chemical constitutions throughout different times in the year so you never know exactly what you’re going to get.

“I always tell anyone who is interested in this artmaking process that if you have to be in control don’t bother because you have to be prepared to take what comes.”

The exhibition will be running at NEXIS from February 12 to March 12.

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