Katie West is interested in systems of renewal and reciprocity. Combining textiles and social practice, the artist uses plant-knowledge to cultivate connections to place, and to create sites for meditation, reading, listening and conversation. Her process begins with gathering materials on country: leaves, bark, flowers, each fallen to the ground after storms or heavy winds. The hot or cold seasons determine which dying process is used: in cold weather, boiling water is used to transfer dyes; whereas in the hotter months, fabric and dying materials are immersed in water and placed in the sun. The infusion of place into these fabrics forms the central part of West’s installations. They are a reminder of our indivisibility from the landscape, from the microbiomes that we host in our bodies to the natural and built environments in which we live. Emphasising our points of connection, to the land and to each other, Katie creates places to address trans-generational trauma. Permanently installed in the West Space office, the work invites institutional self-reflection and accountability in regards to West Space’s position on stolen land. It is a clear reminder of the duty of care owed to the custodians of the countries in which we live and work.
Katie West is a Perth-based artist and Yindjibarndi woman who has lived her life in Noongar Yued and Noongar Whadjuk countries. West describes herself as a multidisciplinary artist situated in the social sciences. Her practice is shaped by her family history, studies in sociology and work experience in the area of Indigenous health.