You may or may not know, I’m an emerging artist. Sometimes I describe myself as re-emerging. Either way, I am at the beginning, perhaps some might say, at a time when I’m nearer the end of my life, rather than having my whole life before me. Personally, I don’t much care how old I am or what people might say. What I care about is community. Whether that is my Aboriginal community or any other community. Might even be community of non-humans, their concerns and our human impact upon them. Seems to me, for survival, the Earth and environment, need us to act with urgency and do many things, simultaneously. I think, emapthy is key. Good thing is empathy…
Create NSW generously provided the funding for video production by Justin Hewitson.
Below is a short video, describing the project I undertook for my residency with Cementa, at the WAYOUT Art Space, in Kandos NSW. One of the goals of the project was to deploy my character, Sister GlitterNullius as a conduit for community to identitfy and share their history, relationship and hopes for the future of their town, Kandos. The art is in the character and it is in creating a workshop for a community. More importantly to my work, the art is in, the fridge magnets and what they represent, community coming together, sharing their stories, making new memories in a group that perhaps might not have been configured in another context. The art is not mine, it belongs to the people of Kandos.
I’ll post the longer version, down the track. I might even be brave enough to post the rehearsal video & performance for Cementa’s SPiRiT of 21 online program! I hope you enjoy having a some insight into my practice rationale and intentions. My many thanx again to Create NSW for funding my Cementa residency videos – Game changer & game on! The video work is invalueable to my learning about my own practice and improving my approaches to it.
My respect and gratitude to the Wiradjuri Land, Elders, Custodians and Indigenous community.
As Cementa’sSpirit of 21 begins to simmer and heat up – where the art community is getting ready to show-off some it’s creativity, strength and resilience during the covid-19 pandemic – I thought to make a small contribution to the excitement and claim myself as one of theirs by sharing snippets of my Cementa artist residency.
I was hosted and mentored by Cementa Inc, in May this year and am so grateful for everything I learned and everyone I met. The mentoring and feedback I received from Cementa Inc, Alex Wisser, David Ryan, Emerging First Nations Curator, Jo Albany and a bunch of amazing artists and community members, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, was more than I could’ve dreamed up! Videp documentation funding was generously provided by Create NSW (Small Projects Grant).
This experience has comprehensively impacted my practice. I’ve become better skilled, more determined and more confident in developing my direction, ethical framework and a more layered character in Sister GlitterNullius. Create NSW, Art & Culture, Small Projects Grants, generously funded the fabulous video documentation by Justin Hewitson. I’ll post the videos in upcoming blogs.
The following is a conversation between myself, Sister GlitterNullius and with the town of Kandos that hosted us.
So, what does a person do on their first residency?
First thing, acknowledge the power of the ancient landscape and it’s Indigenous people…
Secondly, have conversations about art, what more could a re-emerging artist hope for?
Alex Wisser, one of the Cementa Directors, my primary mentor, was generous with his time, knowledge and wisdoms. Through conversation, I think I am better able to negotiate a creative independance that remains grounded in and responsive to the issues identified by a community.
Some of the community’s Love Kandos, fridge magnets on display! Images: Alex Wisser, 2021.
During my time in Kandos, Cementa and Emerging First Nations Curator, Jo Albany were also hosting,YindyamarraReconnection, an Aboriginal Womens’ art laboratory, on a farm-stay just outside town. I joined the group for bushwalks, cups of tea, lunch and discussions about their art practices. I also spent time travelling with local traditional custodian and artist, Peter Swain, learning about the area, it’s history, land and Aboriginal and familial networks. I visited and consulted with traditional custodian from the North-East Wiradjuri Culture Centre Emma Symes and spent a day with local Elder and artist, Aunty Di Pirotta and at her studio. From her I learned about her art practice, weaving and her relationship with Culture and the area. All people have their own relationship with their culture but for me as an Aboriginal person, I don’t have adequate English words to describe the privilege of being able to learn and be with this Aboriginal community. From all of the people at Kandos, I learned so much. These are just some of my residency activities and you can see, I have been with some of the most generous mentors on the planet.
What did I give to the residency and the community?
For the residency, I created a fridge making workshop, Love Kandos, that only Sister GlitterNullius could deliver. Being a tourist is one of her specialist skills. Given her DNA has been infected by micro-plastix, her own identity and non-identity issues, as well as her co-dependent, choking enmeshment with things colonisation, Christian, capitalism and consumerism, Sister GlitterNullius was to undertake her first major solo, community engagement gig! My hope for Love Kandos was to approach challenging issues such as colonisation history, changing social identity, a place to call home and our sense of belonging, with the people of Kandos, specifically drawing from their individual relationships with the area. The artwork was not only by Sister GlitterNullius but a collaboration in the hope that via my workshop, the community’s cohesion is reinforced through sharing life stories and the fridge magnets are the material evidence. The feedback was positive and constructive, the workshops ran over time, cheese and crackers made it an event! This experience has confirmed that I will continue to deploy Sister GlitterNullius as a conduit for engaging with communities on complex, challenging issues.
Love Kandos fridge magnets on display at WAYOUT Art Space, Kandos NSW. Images: Alex Wisser, 2021.
As for Sister GlitterNullius, born of Plastic-free Biennale, 2020, (Lucas Ihlein & Kim Williams), this was her first professional development, solo adventure. I think she did a good job as a simultaneous, chastising and compassionate, strict and hypercritical, workshop facilitator.
As I continue to develop her character and individual story, within my practice, I’ll share with you! Thanx for your patience – I know it’s been a while. Thanx for taking the time to read this entry.
Follow us on Instagram @sistersofperpetualplastix.
Stay safe and well!
Your Friend, In & Out of Plastix!
Juundaal Strang-Yettica AKA Sister GlitterNullius. X
Hello again! First things first, I am absolutely gratful to Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre for including my work in their online collection. And it is not just for being included in their online collaboration with Google Arts & Culture. My gratitude is also for being reminded that, back in the day, everyone at the Powerhouse, the community, the AECG Mil-Pra, the artists, were a really groovy, hard working & welcoming bunch, who made you feel part of the community and something big. That my work was included back then, to me was both community & creative validation. These exhibitions, helped build my confidence and my practice. It was always exciting to exhibit & do work for the exhibtions. Having my work included in this collection, makes me think, these things live on at the Powerhouse.
I remember how it felt to make these works and the feel of pastel on my fingers. They’re more about the human spirit and finding connection to ancestry and land, rather than about our humanity in the modern world. Having said that, I remember these works and that it was an emptiness in the modern world that fuelled me to draw this series. The whole thing is complicated by the medium – modern world materials to try to illustrate the search for connection with an ancient culture, ancestors and spirit. In short, hold on to the spirit within and the spirit of family and community because no matter what paths we take in life, I like to think we will all find our Belonging.
Although these works may not intially seem connected to my character, Sister GlitterNullius,
There are enduring themes of identity and Indigeneity, entangled, complex relationships, failure and fragility between my early and current work. Today these are contextualised within decolonisation frameworks, Indigenous cultural revitalisation, simultaneously responding to environmental crisis. One of my practice goals is to create projects that prioritise collaborative solutions, shared knowledges, social engagement with challenging, complex issues. I hope to contribute to community capacity and strengthened relationships through performances, storytelling short videos and workshops.
Sister GlitterNullius is the post-traumatic, recovering personification and representation of the hypocrisy dilemma that is the Anthropocene. A nun, imprisoned by her love-hate relationship with plastix and all things, consumerist, capitalist, catholic and post-colonial. Through humour, irony, and a pinch of sarcasm, GlitterNullius stands with the in-betweeners, the failures and the lost, trying to navigate a greener decolonised path Home. Can someone lend her a map?
Perhaps then, the issues I explore in my practice remain fundamentally similar, if not the same in some ways.
Journeys of Spirit, 2003, mixed media on board, (53.5×71.5), Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre: collection, (Accession #CP614), online publish, 2021, https://collection.casulapowerhouse.com/objects/193/journeys-of-spirit. Winner of the Bruce & Carol Kendall OAM, Memorial Award & Exhibition, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, NSW.
Hello again, I hope you’re well & staying groovy! I’m very grateful to have my work included in the Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, online collection, highlights. Although these worx come from much earlier days, I am reminded that there are enduring themes of complex relationships, nature & the environment, indigeneity & identity, then and are present in my work as Sister GlitterNullius, now. I imagine, most people want to feel they belong to something, a community, a family etc. Belonging to a culture so ancient, Cultural knowledges being revitalised, I imagine, has many of us, reaching out in the ways we know.
I’ve included these works in the blog site because, it brings me to ask, how much has changed? Where are we now? How much of all the different knowledges, can now come together to save the Earth, as we endeavour to save ourselves? It’s the same thing, right?
You can check out the other worx in the Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre by following the link above. Thanx for dropping by.
Hello my children! My my, it’s been quite a while and we’ve missed you all!
The Order of the Sisters of Perpetual Plastix is very humbled & dare I say excited to be showing The Transformation of Sister GlitterNullius (video) & joining a fabulous group exhibition at HerlandIII– The Body Resilient at The Women’s Library from March 5th, 2021.
Bless our holy endeavours & the dynamic range of artworks being exhibited, as part of International Women’s Day celebrations, visit HerlandIII-TheBodyResilient, 2020. Click the link to secure your tickets!
Come with me but don’t follow me… you are my children but I am not your Mother. She is saltwater, rain, mountain, bird, reptile, river, fish… She is soil, sky and stars… every plant, plankton & microbe… The seasons, fire, wind… She is Ancestors, our sisters & brothers, human and non-human. Do not confess & seek forgiveness from this humble servant… I too, sin. For I am Sister GlitterNullius, the personification of our collective existence hypocrisy…
Please children, do not beg absolution from Mother Nature… her existence is urgent. Build a many & far reaching spider-web around her… Simultaneously reach out to & for the many, the far & wide… stay near, slow down & hurry …
I am glad you are here…hurry child. We have a long way to go from this place but come with me. Step forward, step with me and come. I am old and I am weary but I am strong. I am not lost. Not today…not yet…
Talk to me, tell me what burdens you in this modern plastic world? It seems to me, you are caught in a web? Keep me company while we travel and unburden yourself of your web. Confess your worries…your arrival is timely so, tell me about your entanglement with plastic…?
Welcome, welcome! Come in, it is lovely to be with you again! I have turned to our Lords’ word to bring you the cure for our plastix-waste sins! Gather in, come close my children!
Acedia: Work for the good of others my children, lest thee be thrown into snake pits!
Luxuria:Chastity, self-control and using that wicked energy for the good of others… else be smothered in fire and brimstone!
Gula: My children, you need temperance and the desire to be healthy, that you are fit to serve others… or eat you shall! You will be force fed rats, toads and snakes thence be cured of your plastic gluttony!
Superbia:Remove your ego and boastfulness as it were a rotting tooth! Humility and service before self or you choose to be broken on the wheel, my children please…!
Avarita: My children, the cure for your greed, as it has been written is simple: sharing not hoarding, others before self and charity. Should you not find these within, be boiled alive in oil!
Wrath: Patience, empathy and compassion will save thee from a living dismemberment.
Tristita:Your cure is living with the desire to help others, kindness and be content with what you have. Children, if this you cannot house then freezing water until you are dead will be thou punishment.
Until next time, keep the faith and remain the faithful. Be guided and be kind how you step...