Seemingly Compliant: Niki McDonald
Seemingly Compliant, is an exploration of the artist's personal journey to find authentic self-expression and reinvigorate the story within the common thread.
The Pillars – 10 Free standing Sculptures
Seemingly Compliant - stitching time is thinking time, cultivating changes to the common thread with each stitch
The Tapestries – 8 Contemporary wall tapestries
The magic revealed from under the carpet - breaking the rules of tradition using a traditional medium
Traditional tapestries, commonly relegated to the domestic realm and used to quieten the presence of women as they sat seemingly compliant in their task. The tapestry image, lacking diversity, celebrating modesty and domestic labour, was an affirmation for a contained and conventional life.
McDonald gives the traditional tapestries, stitched by many hands, a strong sculptural presence. They stand asking us to look twice, and consider their 'seemingly compliant' expressions. She likes to think that they are plotting and scheming their way to an autonomous and expressive future. That they are quietly changing the common thread, stitch by stitch, for generations of women to come.
Further along the timeline, the common thread has evolved. The images and affirmations are of colour and self-expression. By using the medium of tapestry, McDonald is acknowledging the work and values of the women who came before her; their plotting and scheming has shifted the creative landscape to allow for authentic self-expression. The contemporary images speak of self-assured women, willing to risk judgement by tapping into their passions.
The exhibition can be seen through two windows at Traffic jam Galleries and images and a video can be viewed online. There will be a QR reader at the exhibition site to allow viewers to link to a catalogue and the artists statement.
Exhibition, free event, window gallery
Top Images: Niki McDonald, Seemingly Compliant (exhibition details), 2021. Photos: Courtesy of the Artist.