Drifting in My Own Land – Nalda Searles

Nalda Searles has been one of the major influences in my artistic life, specifically her interest in using what is to hand and encouraging you to spend more time on actually creating work than on going and buying the ‘perfect’ material. I first met Nalda when she stood in for Ruth Hadlow in a class at Geelong Textile Fibre Forum in the early 2000’s.

Her exhibition Drifting in My Own Land has been on show at the ANU School of Art Gallery for the past few weeks. I managed to get just one view of it on my return from Newcastle.

I did two drawings on the day and I’m now kicking myself for not just putting more money in the parking meter and going back to do more.

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Blind drawing of Kangaroo Couple, 1995-2008 (the piece has undergone several transformations to reach it’s current state).

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Focus on the two heads of the kangaroos made with fodder grass.

The exhibition was essential Nalda. Sculptural objects and textiles made from disparate materials that are just so ‘right’ when they are brought together. Here is her work Tjunti, 1996, made with a perished tennis ball and quartz stones picked up in the bed of the Tjunti river.

Tjunti

Nalda says “I found these things and put them together.”