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Homesick/Sickhome will feature a series of new mahi constructed with fishing and tourism debris; cast out by others and then retrieved by Townsend from beaches across Thailand and Spain. The artist transforms this discarded material into delicately woven and painted works. Some are almost jewel-like; others have the appearance of a mossy outcrop in the depths of the New Zealand bush; or a fragment of coral at the bottom of the ocean. It is as if through the process of making Townsend has somehow returned the inorganic to an organic state.
Townsend is an artist with a finely tuned sensitivity and meticulous approach to materials and processes who is endeavouring to find a new way of making work that is more sustainable – both in terms of the environment and in relation to the realities of sustaining an artistic practice as a new mother.
“[These works] express my relationship with navigation, the pull of the sea and the complex emotions of returning home. I look at this new series and realise I have made a collection of lures and beacons to signal a way back.”
The exhibition will be accompanied by writing from Matilda Fraser.