In their collaborative work Restless – Barkly Arts Craft Circle ponder the fact that while that more and more apartments appear in Footscray overnight, the Baillieu government continues to cut funding to housing services and the crisis in low cost housing continues to deepen. It’s an uncomfortable thought. And these crafty women know it……they have experienced homelessness and insecure housing first hand. They know how critical secure housing is to wellbeing and how impossible it is to move on in your life if you have nowhere to rest. Led by artist Sue Davis, the Barkly Arts Craft Circle have produced a collection of soft sculptures that give a reverent nod to 60’s pop art super nun Sister Corita Kent and to the reigning queen of truisms; text artist Jenny Holzer. The chosen canvas is the mattress – a symbol of home and comfort……. but just as likely to be seen dumped on a nature strip.
Restless featured in Footscray’s public art festival; Footscray on the Edge. The works appeared in doorways, laneways, nature strips and other public spaces. Like all good ephemeral art – they are disappeared over the course of a month.
Lead Artist: Sue Davis
I am a multi-disciplinary artist who specialises in public site specific art projects in collaboration with community groups. This project combines my passion for textiles and creating art that works as a tool for social justice and social engagement. I have loved working with this lovely, spirited group again.
I have pretty much always lived in the West; in Melton and now central Footscray. I am a woman committed to and passionate about fairness in society, especially for women. The Craft Circle allows me to be like-minded people exploring and learning to be creative.
Artist: Lily Serecenj
I have lived in Braybrook and Footscray most of my life. I moved to Thornbury when I got married but then moved back to Braybrook when my marriage ended. I am part of the Craft Group at Barkly because it is fun to get out and be with others. I love to crochet – I have crocheted slippers for many, many people in Footscray. Footscray is changing a lot – I miss Forges.
Artist: Sui Kawan Lum
I live in Footscray close to Barkly Arts Centre – it is easy for me to get to. Being part of the Barkly Arts Craft Group has brought me back to life. I was very isolated and very sad. It really helps me to be busy and making things with the other women is very enjoyable for me.
Artist: Gayle Gibbens
I have lived in the west for about 20 years – in Yarraville, Sunshine, Deer Park and West Footscray. I see Footscray as a friendly welcoming place and the people very easy to talk to.
It feels good to be in the Craft Circle we have got to know each other as we create and without each other’s ideas we would be stuck. Having the support and shared inspiration for one another really helps to see a project through.
Creative producer/curator: Liss Gabb
I am the Program Co-ordinator at the Barkly Arts Centre which provides access to arts opportunities to a diverse population of social housing tenants, clients of Western Region Health Centre and established and emerging migrant communities. Central to my practice is the creation of powerful, authentic artwork through a process of meaningful collaboration with community.