Rachael Wellisch — 'Material Monuments #11' Sculpture
Rachael Wellisch is a Brisbane-based artist, using natural indigo dye, textiles, and installation in response to environmental concerns. Graduating with a BFA(Hons) in 2016 from Griffith University, she is a doctoral candidate and tutor at Griffith University. Winner of the St Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital Art Prize, 2016, and finalist in the Wangaratta Contemporary Textile Award, Northern Beaches Art Prize and Fisher’s Ghost Art Award in 2019. Awarded an Arts Queensland Grant in 2018, she has exhibited in Australia, Ireland, Austria and the UK.
Household textile waste, such as old bedsheets and clothes - already from paddock to product, worn thin and discarded - are diverted from landfill, offering connections between consumption, waste and landscape. The textiles are hand-dyed with natural indigo, then layered one piece of fabric at a time forming Monuments. The work responds to the concept of the Anthropocene and takes inspiration from henges, such as Stonehenge and Dorchester Henge, Neolithic earthworks now believed to be sites of ritual for disseminating the vast amount of knowledge critical for pre-literate human survival. Drought has recently revealed over 4000 year old henges in Ireland and Spain, made newly visible because of climate changes. Relevant here are statistics from sustainability advocate, Jane Milburn who in her 2017 book Slow Clothing states Australians buy an average of 27kg of textiles each year and also discard 23kg into landfill - it is the second largest contributor to landfill after food-waste.
Materials: indigo dyed, layered, salvaged textiles
Dimensions: 20cm x 6cm x 8cm