Kindling is an ignition - a quiet beginning gaining momentum, moving towards inevitable change. This energy and movement is explored in Victoria Hempstead’s first solo exhibition with Gallery Sally Dan-Cuthbert.
As a response to the recent Australian bushfires of 2019 and 2020, Kindling grew from a need to witness and respond to the aftermath. Using her existing metal practice, Hempstead incorporates the materials collected from various sites including charcoal, bark and ash. On her journey through various sites, Hempstead recognised the significance of environmental stressors on the Australian bush. These stressors and the sense of urgency that accompany them are reflected in her work which highlights the opposite states of permanence and ephemerality, of landscape and body, of control and chaos. A convergence of sculpture and mark-making, performance and installation, Hempstead allows her medium and process to play heavily into the dialogue of her pieces. Time is represented as both a continuous motion and visual material; each gesture creates a link between artist and material. In the process of creation, the visual language is presented as an intersection of memory, navigation and place.
The artist wishes to acknowledge and pay respect to the Birpai people of the Port Macquarie-Hastings region, the Worimi people of the Great Lakes region, the Cadigal and Wangal people of the Sydney region, the Darug people of the Hawkesbury and Blue Mountains region, on which the Kindling works were inspired and created. She acknowledges that sovereignty was never ceded, and pays her respects to the Traditional Owners of country, including their Elders past, present and emerging, and recognises their continued connection to the land, waters and culture.