The encounter with the landscape and the attempt to depict it has been central to the development of Australian visual identity. These works redirect landscape to the domestic; the master narrative subverted.
Shown at the Art Gallery of Western Australia, 2003 as part of Mix Tape, showcasing contemporary West Australian artists.
All these works begin with simple domestic forms and materials. In assembling these elements I have used repetition and scale to conjure up the daily rhythm of domestic tasks and the sense of order and rightness that is at the heart of a home – or a place – that nourishes. The folded and stacked blankets in their boxes transform homely chores into rites of replenishment and nurture whilst the orderly rows of spools of coloured silks speak of the possibilities of the home as a place of creation and invention. The colours of these “landscapes” come from dyes made from plants collected at a site on the south coast of Western Australia. Walking through the bush, collecting plants and mushrooms to use for colour, drying them, then boiling, dyeing and scattering the spent foliage on the ground again is an important part of the process. It leaves a physical trace of the site in the work and places the body of the artist at the scene of making.
Belongings …. is a beautifully sensitive and compelling work.
Simon Blond, The West Australian Weekend Extra, December 6 2003, p. 12.
From the Catalogue
The very materiality of these works provokes responses, memories, and in senses other than sight, so that our bodies as well as our brains are engaged. This deliberate resistance of the representation that was present in earlier works by Story foregrounds instead the evocation of a sense of place.
Belongings is not a public proclaiming of shared sentiment, a noisy insistence on what should be, but rather a stimulus to private meditation leading to the unfolding of a quiet moment of deeply rooted understanding.
Melissa Harpley, Associate Curator of Historical Art, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Belongings exhibition catalogue.