Australian Art

THE SUM OF US



An exhibition of works by Deborah Brown and Judi MacLaren


Judi MacLaren uses the nest as a vehicle and metaphor to explore the strength and fragility of life. Bird-Nests epitomise home in its most natural, intricate form. Their frail construction is reminiscent of ‘nursery rhyme’ warnings of impermanence and exposure to the elements threatening life itself. Nonetheless, these seemingly ephemeral structures endure to provide shelter, refuge, a place to hide, ‘a home’. The nest provides a safe haven for its inhabitants, somewhere to be nurtured and begin life.

By conflating her own experience of life and home with the nest motif, Judi has created a narrative that invites the viewer in to a private world. There are glimpses of joy and uncertainty, fleeting moments – familiar to us all – when decisions are quickly made but interminably pondered – we build our nests bit by bit, not knowing what lies ahead. The nest is a metaphor for life – traces of experience; events, home, family and freedom are intertwined.

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