Have you met my sister & Poetic Peripheries

Image: Memory
Artists: Vera Tessmer and Melanie Sarantou
Photographer: Melanie Sarantou
Image courtesy of the artists.

Two exhibitions will be presented at the Port Pirie Regional Art Gallery from 21 December 2019 until 16 January 2020,  Poetic Peripheries (Vivienne Crisp Gallery) and Have you met my sister (Flinders Gallery).

Exhibition runs: 21st December 2019 – 26 January 2020
9am -5pm Monday to Friday Closed Christmas Day
9am 4pm Saturdays
10am -4pm Sundays & Public Holidays including Boxing day and New Years Day.

Artist statements

Poetic Peripheries

Artists: Taina Kontio, Satu Miettinen, Mari Mäkiranta, Melanie Sarantou

This collective includes four researcher-artists who focus on the questions of social responsibility, arctic nature, global and local peripheries and cultural identities. The Poetic Peripheries artist collective visualises and articulates the tension between margins and mainstreams. Poetic Peripheries create, share and visualize the arctic landscape through images of arctic waters, landscapes and people. This project, which combines the personal projects of its four members, will engage communities in power plays through visual self-reflective discussions.

In our project we will bring together an interest in experimental techniques, such as artivist interventions, video and photography, textile and fashion design, combined with an urge to comment on the structures and living conditions found in Arctic societies as well as in other global margins. Through our project, we seek to play our part in advancing social and environmental challenges by pointing out injustices in the communities we will focus on in our work. Our project will reflect on personal, intimate stories and social change, with the purpose to evoke the political and empowering nature of art as a space where we seek new, alternative interpretations of Arctic and other peripheral environments and their inhabitants.

 Have you met my sister

Artists: Daria Akimenko, Sherrie Jones, Laura Pokela, Melanie Sarantou, Sanna Sillgren, Vera Tessmer, Katrina Vivian and Bridge to Nowhere Arts Association Incorporated

The exhibition Have you met my sister brings together works of seven women and one arts group from Australia, Finland, Russia and Namibia. Through their artistic search, the artists explore interpersonal relationships, such as family ties, friendships, intergenerational mother-daughter succession and knowledge transfer, and sisterhood between women. The artists met on several occasions in Australia, Namibia and Finland. Continuing relationships emerged around community-based and arts-based research projects and practical work processes across continents and national borders with a focus on peripheral communities, those defined by conditions of migration, social and geographical isolation.

Identities that constitute the notion of fluid family ties will be explored through textiles, collages and projected images. The themes explore intimate and long-lasting relationships that are shaped through family life, close friendships, professional practices, colleague relationships and eventually sisterhood amongst the artists. The artwork also embraces intergenerational ties that exist amongst the families of the artists, which came about over almost two decades. The exhibition works delve into fluid and undefined notions of family and sisterhood as experienced by the artists.

The layers of meanings, which are often connected to textile arts, express the identities connected to textiles and intimate spaces, including bodies, homes and rooms. These meanings will come forth through the conceptual textile and collage works expressing intimate social and place identities in Have you met my sister. The exhibition works evolved in dialogues and shared processes amongst the artists. As a result, the exhibition will express the processing of the artists’ memories of the past, hopes for the future and the current dynamics that continue to nurture their relationships amongst one another and their families.

Bridge to Nowhere Arts Association Incorporated

PO Box 712, PORT PIRIE.  SA. 5540.

The Bridge To Nowhere Arts Association Inc is a community art group which was set up in August 2018 primarily to support local artists. With humble beginnings, the group now has thirty-seven members throughout South Australia and its objectives are to promote and encourage interest in arts and crafts, maintain and further stimulate interest by various means, e.g. lectures, films, individual instruction, group discussions, public art, exhibitions and any other so designed to instill enthusiasm and develop skills, and create fellowship among members. It further aims to develop and create market opportunities for artist members and contribute to the cultural life of the community. The group has shared use of modest work rooms at the back of the Port Pirie Cultural Centre. During the immediate past twelve months it has hosted regular events including exhibitions (five), promotions (two), art fun meetings (twenty-three) and workshops (eight). During December 2019 it will be part of an exciting four-day workshop & exhibition collaboration with the Have you met my sister and Poetic Peripheries exhibitions at PPRAG.