Mid North inspired exhibition comes to town

The latest exhibition coming to Port Pirie was designed specifically for the Northern Festival Centre and drew inspiration from the Mid North.
The latest exhibition coming to Port Pirie was designed specifically for the Northern Festival Centre and drew inspiration from the Mid North.

An eight-metre-long wallpaper, created specifically for the Northern Festival Centre by South Australian artist Sera Waters, will be unveiled next month.

As part of the Country Arts SA's touring exhibition Domestic Arts, artist Sera Waters created the works specifically relating to the environment of the Mid North.

Waters uses traditional craft and home-making techniques to examine Australian histories, celebrate the knowledge and creativity of 'women's work', while interrogating colonisation, settlement and shifting ecologies.

The overall impression resembles a cross-section of a cliff face, of stacked and staggered layers built up from the multifarious pasts this region has accumulated.

Drawing upon the rich history of Port Pirie, Breathing Routes uses stitched layers to focus upon the unique topographical and ecological features of the region; from the mangroves, to the inlet, and the Flinders Ranges.

Waters has transformed an embroidery by photographing, enlarging and printing it at a scale 16 times larger than the original.

The embroidered artwork of this wallpaper is stitched using thread found at second-hand shops in Port Pirie during a research trip Waters made in November 2020.

During this trip, Waters met members of the Port Pirie Embroiderers' Guild, who inspired her use of the blackwork embroidery technique, as well as free-form embroidery.

Through this work Waters draws attention to the importance of natural and human-made routes and roots, which map past and present activities and sustain this community for the next generations.

Breathing Routes, will be displayed on the windows of the Northern Festival Centre from February 6 following Sera Waters: Domestic Arts opening at the Port Pirie Regional Art Gallery Friday evening.

In Sera Waters: Domestic Arts, Waters draws on her own family history to makes connections to wider narrative from Australian settler-colonial history.

Using traditional home-crafts materials and techniques, Waters celebrates the knowledge and creativity of 'women's work' positions textiles as a potent and important contemporary medium.

Country Arts SA Visual Arts Program Manager Lauren Mustillo said Waters' work is "conceptually layered and technically impressive."

"This exhibition is engaging on so many levels," she said.

Domestic Arts exhibition opening and unveiling of Breathing Routes will be held on Friday 5th February, 5-7pm with free entry.

Sera Waters artist talk will be held on Saturday February 6, 10-10:30am with free entry.

Textiles workshop 'Craft and Storytelling with Sera Waters' will be held on Saturday 6th from 11am-2pm at the Port Pirie Regional Art Gallery.

For more details visit the Gallery website www.pprag.org.au or to book contact Ursula Halpin on uhalpin@pirie.sa.gov.au