Patching the Past

Alexandra Gust

Albany Senior High School

Year 12

fabric, threads, lino print on canvas

52 x 42 x 4.5 cm

The European invasion of Australia affected the culture, health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their lands. Amongst many atrocities, Australia’s native flora suffered irreparable damage and loss, and continues to fight to hold their place against invasive species. Australia has literally and figuratively become fragmented. I have used the process of mending, the way we repair damage to cloth, as a metaphor for the fragmentation of our country. The art of textiles and stitching has been used for centuries to patch and repair, to prolong the life of a garment. However, whilst we can stitch and patch over holes and tears to keep wearing our favourite shirt, it can never really be the same again.

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