Swedish artist Liv Enqvist explores common threads in our humanity and expresses those links through text messages embroidered in coloured cotton on delicate fabrics. She films them wafting in the breeze like Tibetan prayer flags at various bush and beach locations around Byron. As the breeze unfurls the transparent works, we read messages like; ‘Of this I am Certain’, ‘This Is A New Day’ and more provocatively, ‘Stolen Land’.
Enqvist sees links between the treatment of Australian aborigines and the indigenous peoples of Lapland in the High Arctic, both of whom have had their traditional lands claimed by mining companies. But far from being didactic, she seeks to remind us of this in the gentlest of ways. “A single thread is thin yet strong, because of the many fibres that are intertwined, each lending its strength to the whole. Similarly, a community is stronger through diversity and unity.”, says Enqvist.
The meditative nature of her hand-stitching also demonstrates the connective tissue to her spiritual practices. One of her pieces reads ‘Dadirri’ – a word from the Northern Territory meaning ‘deep awareness’. And that’s precisely what we experience when we view these subtle and sensual pieces – a sense of contemplative calm continuing the long line of subversive women’s work.
Listen to the interview with Liv Enqvist on Big Nelly’s Roadtrip (4.15pm on 19.10.21)
Gallery 3 @ The Kollective, 3/1 Kendall St Byron Bay Wed – Sun 3pm – 5pm, until Oct 29