Pleased to announce the Mixed Race Sweater has been acquired by the Migration Museum! It is now on display in the foyer.
Flotsam and Jetsam - July 2o21 - Post Office Projects
Carly Tarkari Dodd
"‘Flotsam and jetsam’ is an expression used to describe an accumulation of ‘odds and ends’. It also refers to two different kinds of shipwreck. ‘Flotsam’ is the cargo that floats ashore after a shipwreck and ‘jetsam’ is gear discarded to lighten the load in the face of danger. One is unintentional and the other intentional. The distinction between the two is important under maritime law because of ownership; flotsam may be claimed by the original owner, whereas jetsam can become the property of whoever discovers it."
- Precious Cargo', Polly Dance, Catalogue essay for Flotsam and Jetsam Exhibition
It's been a pleasure to have my work on display as part of a group exhibition at the Kerry Packer Civic Art Gallery in the Hawke Centre, curated by local artist Elyas Elavi.
Contact brings together a group of diverse emerging artists exploring the themes of race, identity, politics, migration, and modern slavery through photography, painting, sculpture and installation and video. Although each artist has a different experience, they have a shared understanding. Their practice engages in a process of auto-ethnography, where they connect their personal history and circumstances to broader cultural, social and political concerns. These stories are often not well known due to lack of avenues of communication.
Contact won a Fringe Weekly Award for Best Arts and Design, and has been highlighted as a Fringe stand out in the visual arts category. This is the first time I've ever had my work displayed alongside international artists, in such a diverse range of mediums. It was challenging and exciting to create new work along these themes. Exhibition open until March 26th.
I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I was the winner of the Don Dunstan Foundation SALA Award for my work 'Mixed Race Sweater'.
More information from the Don Dunstan Foundation website below:
This award is for artists whose work explores social justice themes which align with the objectives and priorities of the Don Dunstan Foundation including:
The Don Dunstan Foundation Award explores art that aligns with social justice. Now, more than ever, we need to deliver empathy and compassion through many mediums, for those who live in different circumstances than us and the Foundation continues to drive outcomes for a more equitable society. In 2020, we were so pleased to see over 30 entrants whose art touched on many themes including homelessness, mental health, culture and migration. This year’s winner of our $1,000 cash award is Makeda Duong’s Mixed Race Sweater.
The Mixed Race Sweater showed that Australia’s multicultural society and it’s casual racism can lead to cultural anxieties. The sweater was poignantly knitted in the colours of both the Australian flag and the (south) Vietnamese flag to represent Makeda’s bi-racial background.
The bold wording throughout the piece communicated Makeda’s feelings of being caught in between cultures and had a strong effect on the judges, particularly comments such as ‘Are you Australian?’ and ‘But you’re not full Asian?’.
While I'm thrilled to have started my mentorship with local artist Cheryl Hutchens, unfortunately due to Covid 19 closures, Nexus Arts is currently shut and I'm unable to use their studio for now. I'm sure this echoes what's happening to many artists and their practices at the moment - shows cancelled, galleries temporarily shut, live events cancelled or postponed, festivals shut down.
I am still due to have a solo show as part of SALA in August this year, so stay tuned! SALA has now moved totally online, so I'm thinking about ways I'll be able to showcase work via online platforms and keep it engaging. The current crisis has raised many questions on the subject of how artists and arts workers are adapting; how well the arts transfers to being accessible online, the precariousness of working within the arts, and the role and value of the arts within our society. I myself am managing okay, I'm used to working from home as I've always done, but the vast majority of my income is derived from part time retail work, all of which is currently shut down. At the moment though I feel more connected to my friends, family and the arts community, even though a lot of us are physically apart.
This year I was selected to be one of the two artists invited for a studio residency at Nexus Arts. The residency will coincide with the SALA Festival (South Australian Living Artists Festival) for three months, from April to June.
The residency also comes with a mentorship, which is an opportunity to work with an established artist who will provide me with guidance through the process. I'm excited to receive some professional advice and maybe even get some tips on technique and skills!
I'm also thrilled I get to use the studio space and be in the community within and surrounding Nexus. I don't currently have a studio so this will be great.
Here's the writeup from the Facebook post by Nexus Arts:
Nexus is excited to announce our 2020 SALA residence recipient - Makeda Duong
Makeda - Artist is an Adelaide based artist whose work explores her experience of contemporary womanhood through textiles processes such as knitting and embroidery. Though her practice examines aspects such as mental and gynaecological health, recent themes in her work involve investigating her mixed race identity and Vietnamese heritage.
We can't wait to see what she delivers for SALA Festival 2020.
Come and visit me in the studio at Nexus this year!
Media Release by Caitlin Eyre, Jamfactory, Adelaide
6 June 2019
Kinder, Küche, Kirche: Revisiting the Traditions of Barossan Women’s Folk Crafts
Kinder, Küche, Kirche features artwork by contemporary female artists and craft practitioners in response to the historical folk crafts and cultural traditions of the German migrant women who settled in the Barossa Valley. As a part of this year’s South Australian Living Artist (SALA) Festival, JamFactory focuses on the historical craft practices of the Barossa in order to both preserve the precious matriarchal knowledge of the past and celebrate the living traditions of today’s contemporary female craft practitioners.
Exhibitors: Joy Day; Makeda Duong; Ilona Glastonbury; Ursula Halpin; Dianne Hedger; Brigitte Jeanson; Brigitta Keane; Rita Koehler; Deborah Prior; Rose-Anne Russell; and Kylie Waters.
Kinder, Küche, Kirche: Revisiting the Traditions of Barossan Women’s Folk Crafts
is showing at JamFactory Seppeltsfield from 13 July – 15 September 2019.
Women’s domestic craft practices often reveal the wealth of skill, creativity and ingenuity that is produced in the private sphere of the home for the benefit of their family, friends and community. As a part of this year’s South Australian Living Artist (SALA) Festival, JamFactory focuses on the historical craft practices of the Barossa in order to both preserve the precious matriarchal knowledge of the past and celebrate the living traditions of today’s contemporary female craft practitioners.
In the German Lutheran communities of the Barossa, traditional folk crafts have long been practiced by women as a means to maintain their distinctive cultural identity, express religious values, commemorate familial events and solidify community bonds. Popularised throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the German slogan Kinder, Küche, Kirche (“children, kitchen, church”) was used to describe the idealised traditional role of women as good Lutheran mothers and housewives in society.
JamFactory presents Kinder, Küche, Kirche, an exhibition of contemporary artworks and selected historical artefacts that celebrate the traditional folk crafts and cultural traditions practiced by the German migrant women of the Barossa and their descendants. While many examples of these folk crafts are held in museums and personal collections, the contemporary practice of some of these crafts continues to provide strong links to the German cultural traditions of the people who settled in this region.
Traditional folk crafts undertaken in the Barossa in the mid-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries included textile crafts such as embroidery (particularly whitework and redwork), Berlin woolwork, knitting, sewing, quilting, weaving, needlework and basketry, as well as the more unusual crafts of foilwork, pokerwork, chip-carving, leatherwork, hairwork, and the making of pictures crafted from wax, feathers and seashells. While much of the craftwork that migrant women performed was routine and often utilitarian in nature, their skill and creativity was still revered in the decoration of domestic objects to make the family home comfortable and cheerful.
Kinder, Küche, Kirche asks contemporary female South Australian artists — Makeda Duong, Ilona Glastonbury, Ursula Halpin, Deborah Prior, Rose-Anne Russell and Kylie Waters — to respond to these historical female crafts that were practiced in the Barossa while simultaneously exploring the cultural traditions, values and belief systems that underpinned daily life in this distinctive German settlement. In conjunction with these artists, JamFactory has invited contemporary practitioners of these traditional crafts — Joy Day, Dianne Hedger, Brigitte Jeanson, Brigitta Keane and Rita Koehler — to display their artworks to attest to the living history of the Barossa.
A number of the featured artists and craft practitioners featured in this exhibition have German heritage, ancestral links to the Barossa or are currently living and working in the region.