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House, floating

  • Studio 4, Sacred Heart Building, Abbotsford Convent 1 Saint Heliers Street Abbotsford, VIC, 3067 Australia (map)


'House, floating' is a book launch and an installation.

It is an environment - at once real, modest, functional and part-domestic and also manufactured, fantastic and ephemeral.

It is enclosed and expansive.

Its elements manifest from the new volume of poetic text and original artwork by Bella Li, titled 'Lost Lake' (Vagabond Press), which will be officially introduced at the studio of maker/curator Leah Muddle during Craft Cubed 2018.

It is objects both found and created by hand - assembled, arranged, displayed, in use and catching the eye.

It is a project for the curious and an expression of curiosity ... perhaps at the animated nature of spaces, perhaps at the sudden presence of two large eggs in the living room.

'House, floating' will be a component of the walking tour between new Sacred Heart studios at the Abbotsford Convent, also planned for Craft Cubed 2018.

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In the first section of Bella Li's new book, 'Lost Lake', there are two early titular descriptions - 'Enchantments Encounter'd' and then, 'A Discourse on the Wonders of the Invisible World'. Brief sequences of evocative poetry are followed by original collage images (made by Li) called 'Curiosities' - meldings of quaint yet utterly domestic or everyday scenes with hovering objects that seem to arrive from a plane of fantasy. The presence of these objects constitutes amusing breaches upon banality and the expected.

The visual works reflect Li's poetry, which is extremely precise and pointed - referring often to particular things and places and figures - yet also entirely mysterious, infinitely allusive and not quite graspable.

The work establishes the existence of a very compelling but vague place or 'other' realm - something between the familiar and unknown, between wakefulness and sleep, between constructed and imagined. The images in particular seem to imply that there are portals to this realm, everywhere (if you look), even inside the home.

'House, floating' will be an event and an exhibit of works derived from such themes and images in Li's work. It will be set, quite ideally, inside the new studio of Leah Muddle. This space, though small, is very multi-faceted. It is a commercial retail show-room; it is an occasional gallery; it is a working space, and it is a personal 'lived-in' space. The tools and processes and off-cuts of making are visible, as are coffee cups and worn-out cardigans and companion trinkets. It is all on display both by necessity and by design. There is a continual toing and froing between 'authentic' and 'contrived'. 

This inter-play will be explored and amplified in 'House, floating'. Additional elements will be arranged in the space - including original prints by Li, curated furnishings, hand-crafted papier-mache objects and music. Visitors may not confidently register - which are the exhibited things, and which are the 'real' things? The effect may be to show the quiet, constant tussle of fantasy and actuality that animates our spaces.

Launch event: Sunday August 5, 2.30pm for 3 pm start

Instagram: @raisingcatpeople

Earlier Event: August 1
Swatch the Future
Later Event: August 2
Advice Clinic - Instagram check up