THE FRAGILITY OF GOODNESS: ABSTRACTION, ABJECTION AND ACTIVISM

Elizabeth Day, Porous/Trans-Generational Trauma, 2019, knitted unravelled and new baby wool on felt backing, 210 x 510 cm. Photo: Alex Balding.

The Fragility of Goodness: Abstraction, Abjection and Activism, solo exhibition at Moonah Arts Centre, 24 Aug – 15 Sept 2018.

The Fragility of Goodness: Abstraction, Abjection and Activism is part of artist Elizabeth Day’s ongoing series Discontinued Narratives of Migration.

Her “drawings” presume the place of knitting as part of the vernacular of art. They use white baby wool, finely made into various abstract, modernist configurations.

Intimating something unsullied, innocent and pure, white wool evokes preciousness of the baby and its likewise precious bond with the mother. This relationship is knitted together, each folded into the other, the relationship as fragile as goodness and the work itself.

At the same time, these works also mark the forces always in play; that sully, deconstruct and de-territorialise whiteness.

The rhizome like structures in Day’s collaborative textile work emerged from workshops in NSW prisons, especially in relation to a garden developed for and with female prisoners. The work, including Risdon Fungi, reflects upon trans-generational trauma. These haunted and haunting “drawings” are not only inscriptions, but are uncanny, cryptic, abject and activist performances.

Elizabeth Day, Porous/Trans-Generational Trauma, 2019, knitted unravelled and new baby wool on felt backing, 210 x 510 cm, detail. Photo: Alex Balding.
Elizabeth Day, The Fragility of Goodness: Abstraction, Abjection and Activism, 2018, installation view. From left to right: Three, 2011, knitted white wool on linen backing, 55 x 130 cm each, framed; Invisible Words/Invisible Worlds, 2017-2019, wall work comprised of unframed sections of unravelled wool on muslin and felt, and digital prints, various dimensions (installation 150 x 590 cm and 150 x 400 cm); Drawing of the Map of the Boronia Garden, (Dillwynia), 2005-2007, 12 framed works, 55 x 70 cm each; Porous/Trans-Generational Trauma, 2019, knitted, unravelled and new baby wool on felt backing, 510 x 210 cm. Above: Section of Myco Logic, 2018, hand made fungi (mixed media) and mycelia; CCTV link to monitor below (in centre of the space). Photo: Alex Balding.
Elizabeth Day, Invisible Words/Invisible Worlds, 2017-2019, wall work comprised of unframed sections of unravelled wool on muslin and felt, and digital prints, various dimensions (installation 150 x 590 cm left section, and 150 x 400 cm right section). Installation view. Photo: Alex Balding.
Elizabeth Day, The Fragility of Goodness: Abstraction, Abjection and Activism, 2018, installation view. From left to right: Three, 2011, knitted white wool on linen backing, 55 x 130 cm each, framed; Invisible Words/Invisible Worlds, 2017-2019, wall work comprised of unframed sections of unravelled wool on muslin and felt, and digital prints, various dimensions (installation 150 x 590 cm and 150 x 400 cm); Drawing of the Map of the Boronia Garden, (Dillwynia), 2005-2007, 12 framed works, 55 x 70 cm each; Porous/Trans-Generational Trauma, 2019, knitted, unravelled and new baby wool on felt backing, 510 x 210 cm. Above: Section of Myco Logic, 2018, hand made fungi (mixed media) and mycelia; CCTV link to monitor below (in centre of the space). Photo: Alex Balding.
Elizabeth Day, Invisible Words/Invisible Worlds, 2017-2019, wall work comprised of unframed sections of unravelled wool on muslin and felt, and digital prints, various dimensions (installation 150 x 590 cm left section and 150 x 400 cm right section). Installation view. Photo: Alex Balding.
Elizabeth Day, The Fragility of Goodness: Abstraction, Abjection and Activism, 2018, installation view. From left to right: Drawing of the Map of the Boronia Garden, (Dillwynia), 2015, 12 framed works, 55 x 70 cm each; Section of Myco Logic, 2018, mixed media (fungi made by participants in the Cumberland Hospital Myco Logic community arts and cultural development project on a mycelial bed that hung into the room from the gallery lighting grid), the image of the fungi, out of site, beyond the grid, was brought into the room with a camera connected to the monitor below (in centre of the space); Untitled, 2019, knitted wool, dimensions variable. Photo: Alex Balding.
Elizabeth Day, Three, 2011, knitted white wool on linen backing, 55 x 130 cm each, framed. Photo: Alex Balding.
Elizabeth Day, Abstract Geneticism: Chromosome, 2014, knitted fibres such as wool, plastic hair and string, 34 x 50 cm, framed.
Elizabeth Day, Drawing of the Map of the Boronia Garden, (Dillwynia), 2005-2007, 12 framed works, 55 x 70 cm each. The photographic sections show the Boronia Garden, Dillwynia Correctional Centre. The white interconnecting lines made from knitting are based on the actual map of the garden that was designed by the women in the correctional centre. Other materials reference this ‘abject’ site and include bitumen, chewing gum, balloons, washers, string, hessian, damp coursing (densely textured). Photo: Alex Balding.
Elizabeth Day, Drawing of the Map of the Boronia Garden, (Dillwynia), 2005-2007, 12 framed works, 55 x 70 cm each. Detail of one of the 12. The photographic sections show the Boronia Garden, Dillwynia Correctional Centre. The white interconnecting lines made from knitting are based on the actual map of the garden that was designed by the women in the correctional centre. Other materials reference this ‘abject’ site and include bitumen, chewing gum, balloons, washers, string, hessian, damp coursing (densely textured). Photo: Alex Balding.
Elizabeth Day, Drawing of the Map of the Boronia Garden, (Dillwynia), 2005-2007, 12 framed works, 55 x 70 cm each. Detail of one of the 12. The photographic sections show the Boronia Garden, Dillwynia Correctional Centre. The white interconnecting lines made from knitting are based on the actual map of the garden that was designed by the women in the correctional centre. Other materials reference this ‘abject’ site and include bitumen, chewing gum, balloons, washers, string, hessian, damp coursing (densely textured). Photo: Alex Balding.
Elizabeth Day, Invisible Words/Invisible Worlds, 2017-2019, wall work comprised of unframed sections of unravelled wool on muslin and felt, and digital prints, various dimensions (installation 150 x 590 cm left section and 150 x 400 cm right section). Detail. Photo: Alex Balding.
Elizabeth Day, Invisible Words/Invisible Worlds, 2017-2019, wall work comprised of unframed sections of unravelled wool on muslin and felt, and digital prints, various dimensions (installation 150 x 590 cm left section and 150 x 400 cm right section). Detail. Photo: Alex Balding.
Elizabeth Day, Invisible Words/Invisible Worlds, 2017-2019, wall work comprised of unframed sections of unravelled wool on muslin and felt, and digital prints, various dimensions (installation 150 x 590 cm left section and 150 x 400 cm right section). Detail. Photo: Alex Balding.
Elizabeth Day, Invisible Words/Invisible Worlds, 2017-2019, wall work comprised of unframed sections of unravelled wool on muslin and felt, and digital prints, various dimensions (installation 150 x 590 cm left section and 150 x 400 cm right section). Detail. Photo: Alex Balding.
Elizabeth Day, Invisible Words/Invisible Worlds, 2017-2019, wall work comprised of unframed sections of unravelled wool on muslin and felt, and digital prints, various dimensions (installation 150 x 590 cm left section and 150 x 400 cm right section). Detail. Photo: Alex Balding.
Elizabeth Day, Invisible Words/Invisible Worlds, 2017-2019, wall work comprised of unframed sections of unravelled wool on muslin and felt, and digital prints, various dimensions (installation 150 x 590 cm left section and 150 x 400 cm right section). Detail. Photo: Alex Balding.
Elizabeth Day, Standing in the Shoes of Another and the Quiet Ethics of the Maternal Body, 2004, knitted baby wool, hessian, felt, carpet underlay.
Elizabeth Day, Section of Myco Logic, 2018, mixed media (fungi made by participants in the Cumberland Hospital Myco Logic community arts and cultural development project) on a mycelial bed that hung into the room from the gallery lighting grid – the image of the fungi, out of site, beyond the grid, was brought into the room with a camera connected to this monitor below the mycelial installation. Photo: Alex Balding.
Elizabeth Day, Invisible Words/Invisible Worlds, 2017-2019, wall work comprised of unframed sections of unravelled wool on muslin and felt, and digital prints, various dimensions (installation 150 x 590 cm left section and 150 x 400 cm right section). Detail. Photo: Alex Balding.
Elizabeth Day, The Fragility of Goodness: Abstraction, Abjection and Activism, 2018, installation view. From left to right: Three, 2011, knitted white wool on linen backing, 55 x 130 cm each, framed; Invisible Words/Invisible Worlds, 2017-2019, wall work comprised of unframed sections of unravelled wool on muslin and felt, and digital prints, various dimensions (installation 150 x 590 cm and 150 x 400 cm); Drawing of the Map of the Boronia Garden, (Dillwynia), 2005-2007, 12 framed works, 55 x 70 cm each; Porous/Trans-Generational Trauma, 2019, knitted, unravelled and new baby wool on felt backing, 510 x 210 cm. Above: Section of Myco Logic, 2018, hand made fungi (mixed media) and mycelia; CCTV link to monitor below (in centre of the space). Photo: Alex Balding.
Elizabeth Day, Section of Myco Logic, 2018, mixed media (fungi made by participants in the Cumberland Hospital Myco Logic community arts and cultural development project on a mycelial bed that hung into the room from the gallery lighting grid), the image of the fungi, out of site, beyond the grid, was brought into the room with a camera connected to the monitor below (in centre of the space); Drawing of the Map of the Boronia Garden, (Dillwynia), 2005-2007, 12 framed works, 55 x 70 cm each. Installation view, 3 of the 12. The photographic sections show the Boronia Garden, Dillwynia Correctional Centre. The white interconnecting lines made from knitting are based on the actual map of the garden that was designed by the women in the correctional centre. Other materials reference this ‘abject’ site and include bitumen, chewing gum, balloons, washers, string, hessian, damp coursing (densely textured). Photo: Alex Balding.
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