State of Flux – What have I been up to?

I’ve had a hiatus from social media and writing the studio newsletter mainly because things have been changing in the studio. By this I mean the work I’m producing is evolving and is in a state of flux. All of which is good however it’s difficult to determine where things are going and what might be relevant to share with you, because in a couple of weeks or months I may have moved in a different direction.

Having said this I thought I would share with you what has set this in motion and the timing of our current lockdown, here in Aotearoa New Zealand, seems appropriate.

This is the artist statement I wrote before the pandemic:

“Justine Walker makes work about longing. Longing to be loved. Longing to be accepted. Investigating the lengths, we will go to. Changing and moulding ourselves into something else to satisfy what others – family, friends, society – expect of us.  Repeatedly trying to fulfil expectations (within limitations) based on gender. When is the performance enough, when can we stop performing?

Walker uses repetition, performance and lived experience to research longing, loss, acceptance and family. Resulting in video and photographic works that are performative in nature.”

COVID has shifted my relationship with acceptance to belonging. Belonging to a place. Knowing a place. What is that like? Lived experience, particularly my own, is still core to my practice. The goal to document an experience, a feeling, in a way the viewer can connect to their own. Still using repetition and performance to produce video and photographic works. Adding more weight to craft and making with my hands.

This shift has resulted in research in the following directions:

  • taking a photograph each day of my garden for a year
  • walking the route from my childhood home to the school I attended with my mothers camera
  • researching my family tree with a particular interest in those who immigrated here. From where? What have I inherited from them? That I may have forgotten?
  • learning Te Reo Māori
  • learning the history of this place
  • making a series of textile works
  • learning the history of embroidery
  • reading poetry – something I’ve never done before

Lots of reading, writing, looking and making is happening. I will try sharing some of the research from each of these directions with you over the coming months to give you an insight into how I work, hoping this may be of some interest.

The image above is one of a textile works I have been experimenting with. Working title is “Claudia’s mother”.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *