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Omnium Gatherum

Queensland artists Peta Lloyd and Nanette Balchin caught a plane on Wednesday with two enormous suitcases packed to the brim with artworks, some of which were exceedingly fragile. From Melbourne airport, they hired a car and drove the rest of the way to Port Fairy. After a good sleep, they fronted at Blarney's doors at 9.30am, each with their bulging suitcase. We spent the day together hanging and displaying the nearly 100 works which make up this stunning show for a launch that evening - and to everyone's relief, we discovered the travel caused no damage to any of the pieces. This exhibition comprises printmaking, stitching, material-making, up-cycling, assemblage, illustration, photography and bookmaking. The works are mostly small, intricate and delightful. With their work, Peta and Nanette tap into the Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi, which has the concepts of transience and impermanence as its core. Peta has a beautiful series of free-stitched birds which were inspired by the birds in her mother's garden. Her mother is now in aged care and no longer able to care for her big garden. Then there is the collection of petri dishes, which hold tiny artworks of fabric and found objects. As Peta states, "Memory, birds, weeds and the found are encapsulated into vessels. [...] Threads protrude like unruly hairstyles, bookish forms emerge, snippets of text allude to story." Nanette, a woman of the water, has created works which reflect her love for her local landscape, near the Keppel Islands, and her love for boats, and the journeys they evoke, both real and imagined. Like I say, this is truly a stunning exhibition. On until the end of September.

Peta Lloyd & Nanette Balchin

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