Valetudo (2013)

A eulogy to Aunty (Ida) West, 2013 marks a decade since this Tasmanian Aboriginal elder and matriarch left our realm. I didn’t personally know Aunty Ida, but her serpentine ripples of energy stir me. Her durational battle for a healing garden at Wybalenna (Flinders Island) was finally realised. She was provocative for the sake of community, not self-aggrandisement. Aunt Ida’s moxie to tinker with social protocols to open out new possibilities, gives me courage. My intention with the sacred lotus form embedded in the flag is to give rise to archaic energy, where membranes are pushed through the long ribbed hand sewn canals. Sequins and mirriors are traditionally a method for storing of spiritual information. Aunt Ida believed the dead could speak to the living, therefore in this work I have embraced the form of the Haitian Vodou Flag, where a connection between a mortal and a virtual presence is established.

Ida West continually stated that the only way forward was through reconciliation, by considering many sides of our [Australian] history. A Latin feminine noun, Valetudo, carries with it meaning which contains complexity; health, soundness, good health, bad health, where medicine can be made from, or, turn into poison; depending on the dose. Frustrated by limited classifications of what an artist, healer, activist, teacher or even class, race and gender may be, I have interlaced apparently incongruent strands of cultural phenomena; this does not come without conflict and misunderstanding. Thus, Valetudo represents a struggle to communicate with all people, everyone, my hope is that it shines light into to darkest places. It is made in the year of the black water snake, who pushes out its skin, a reference to ecstatic movements and painful moments. I hope there are moments when people may be relaxed, or feel the zeroing in and submit to the flow, tuning in to the many levels of the work.

We have to go to bad places to try to heal, you must do the healing. But it takes all colours to do it. - Ida West.
Premiere in Testing Ground - a group touring show, curated by Dr Julie Gough. Opened March 14 2013 10 Days on the Island [more info]
[home]
Nancy Mauro-Flude Install Shot Testing Ground - 10 Days on the Island Long Gallery Salamanca Arts Centre
Embedded AR layer after scan - > takes you to these links:
- - > http://bit.ly/ida-west
- - > http://bit.ly/ida-west-interview
- - > Auntie Ida West tells us about her life's battles and triumphs', Transcript.
Detail install shot -Nancy Mauro-Flude
Medium
180cm x 300cms, hand sequined-embroidered, Knitted cotton prayer flag, embedded Augmented Reality Layer.
ABC - VIDEO feature/demonstration
Review Artlink 2013