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The Traces Between - Melinda Heal

  • m16 artspace 21 Blaxland Cres Griffith, ACT, 2603 Australia (map)

My first solo show in Canberra! Coming up at M16 Artspace in Canberra's leafy suburb of Griffith.

"Melinda Heal spent four years immersing herself in Japanese culture through the traditional textile resist-dyeing techniques of katazome and yuzen. She brings her own interpretation of the techniques with a particularly Canberran flavour by taking the many colourful birds of our city as her subject

In katazome and yuzen the lines and areas that are masked remain uncoloured and help form the image. The resist is no longer present in the final work but the trace left behind is a fundamental part of the dyed surface.

The Traces Between brings together large-scale textile work, focusing on Australian imagery but created while Heal was living in Japan. Her newest works draw the focus closer to home as she observes her subjects up-close, in her own suburb, appreciated anew after a long time away.

The result is a show of stunning hand-dyed lightweight fabric pieces, layered and hung with space around them to encourage  subtle movement. Some are vibrant with highly saturated colour, others feature rich earth-tones of local natural dyes.

Utilising the traditional techniques of yuzen and katazome in fresh and contemporary ways, the works focus especially on parrot and eucalyptus species. Delicate botanical details combine with bold stencil-dyed silhouettes, and washes of colour reveal flocks of birds that move with the fabric. Quietly flowing through the works is Heal’s fascination with bird migration, historical texts, conservation and even the mapping of bird-song."

- from M16 Artspace