Banksia: Kait James discusses embroidery works and exhibition Keep Hanging Us Out to Dry
Wadawurrung artist Kait James joined Banksia to talk about their embroidery works and exhibition Keep Hanging Us Out to Dry, following their exhibition Hang Us Out To Dry at the Art Gallery of Ballarat in 2021.
In describing their embroidery works in the exhibition, Kait explains that “it’s a series of Aboriginal calendar tea towels from the seventies and eighties that I embroider over the top of.”
“They were made by non-Indigenous people using stolen imagery, so a lot of the shields and burial poles and stuff that actually exist, and they're in museums and things like that - so yeah, I wanted to take them and give them a new life.”
“But I also use, sometimes the year of the tea towel, to see what was actually happening at the time for Indigenous people.. sometimes it’s autobiographical, to what ever I was doing at that time as well.”
Kait's bold embroidery work focuses on political matters using humour, and with the themes in different pieces she explains:
“With the Pauline Hanson one, its sort of referencing that Pauline Pantsdown song from the nineties… and using the words in the song language has been murdered and her quotes of I’m Indigenous, I was born here.."
"It’s just kind of a way of expressing myself, I suppose."
“And same with Treaty.. that came about just eating a packet of Twisties, thinking life is pretty shitty without a treaty and you know, how complex that whole treaty process is.. not making a joke out of that.. I think its the way my mind works."
Kait is also involved in the Geelong Arts Centre's Little Malop Street Redevelopment project which is expected to be unveiled in 2023.