The twelve-member multi-disciplinary artist collective We Must Get Together Some Time will exhibit a major body of new works in a self-titled multi-venue exhibition in Mandurah (Contemporary Art Spaces Mandurah (CASM) and Mandurah Performing Art Centre (ManPAC)) and lead related workshops and cultural events from 17 October to 14 November. We Must Get Together Some Time (WMGTST) practices slow making, through active and passionate long-term creative engagements with non-urban places and non-human worlds. WMGTST use skilful practices and materials including textiles, natural materials, found objects, ceramics, video and creative writing to bring into being finely crafted works. Artworks, stories of their making, and community workshops will open conversations with audiences and invite responses to questions and concerns about the Australian bush, rural communities and the natural and cultural materiality of place in these precarious times.

Coptic books (2020-1) Dianne Strahan

We Must Get Together Some Time

We Must Get Together Some Time (WMGTST) is an artists’ collective that practices slow making, through active and passionate long-term creative engagements with non-urban places and non-human worlds and has been working together for 18 months. A multi-disciplinary team of emerging and established, regional and metropolitan based WA artists comprises 12 emerging, mid-career and established artists from the Peel, Perth, Kimberley, Wheatbelt and Great Southern regions. This group of slow making artists use skilful practices and materials including textiles, natural materials, found objects, ceramics, film and video, and text and creative writing to create finely crafted creative works. The collective’s thematic objective is to facilitate ongoing interdisciplinary dialogue, collaboration and professional development amongst the artists in the group and with other regional artists and communities.

WMGTST’s beautifully crafted slowly made artworks, stories of their making, and community workshops will open conversations with new audiences (local and visitors) and invite responses to questions and concerns about the Australian bush, rural communities and the natural and cultural materiality of place in these precarious times.

Annette Nykiel another step in the
journey cloth 2020-21

Artists

Nandi ChinnaAnnette Nykiel
Helen ColemanPerdita Phillips
Jane DonlinNien Schwarz
Sharyn EganMichelle Slarke
George KarpathakisDi Strahan
Todd IsraelHolly Story (not exhibiting)

We are a diverse group of 12 artists with a large skill set to share. We cultivate interdisciplinary dialogue, collaborate, mentor and support PD with emphasis on field-based research and slow making.

Helen Coleman ecocolours


Helen Coleman’s science background is applied to deriving ink, lake pigment and dye from native plants. Dr Jane Donlin (traditional textile hand production) is interpreting through stitch new poems by Kimberley-based writer and environmental activist Dr Nandi Chinna. Todd Israel (teacher) and Noongar elder Sharyn Egan specialise in fibre construction. Dr George Karpathakis (assemblage/film) is producing a documentary film of WMGTST artists working in the field and studio and creating ephemeral assemblages from objects found while walking the city streets. Dr Annette Nykiel (eco-textiles/geologist) and Dr Nien Schwarz are developing a Bunbury Basalt ceramic glaze. Dr Perdita Phillips (ecology) is pursuing mixed media environmental projects, while a salt lake is the focus of Lake Grace artist and heritage consultant Michelle Slarke. Narrogin-based artist Di Strahan is deeply immersed in plant dyeing and often shares dyepots with Helen Coleman and Dr Annette Nykiel. Dr Nien Schwarz (sculpture) and Walpole-based Holly Story (eco-textiles) collaborate using local wild clay.

Broke Inlet Professional Development Artist Retreat

The artist collective successfully applied for funding to support a week-long field-based research and professional development (PD) retreat in April 2021 at Broke Inlet. Outcomes support the creation of new artworks for an exhibition (also named We Must Get Together Some Time) as part of the Indian Ocean Triennial (IOTA21). PD activities include field & studio-based research, development & review of artworks, and the mentoring of our emerging artists. Artists engaged in specially tailored workshops and guided walks hosted by local artists and other professionals from the South West and Great Southern regions including Colin Story, Sarah Drummond, Dr Liz Edmonds and Dr Joanna Young.

The concept of slow making puts emphasis on process and passionate long-term engagement with non-urban places. Broke Inlet will be a residential and regional PD retreat supporting the slow making of artworks for participation in IOTA21, and our multi-venue exhibition at Contemporary Art Space Mandurah (CASM) and Mandurah Performing Arts Centre (MPAC), 17 Oct – 14 Nov, 2021.

The retreat furthers our goal to enable and promote WA artists who practice slow making. The 2016 exhibition Field Walking Slow Making curated by Schwarz and Nykiel featured 8 WA artists. In 2020, those artists formed WMGTST, which comprises 12 emerging and established artists from the Perth, Peel, Kimberley and Wheatbelt regions. Field-based activities with scientists and professional artists and writers are set for April.

The retreat supports mentoring and core activities in the field: time to research and develop nature-inspired artworks through slow walking, slow making, and the sharing of local knowledge, skills and outcomes in a supportive professional environment with few distractions. This model was successfully trialled in 2020 when WMGTST self-funded two regional retreats (Yalgorup NP and Dryandra). The subject matter and premise of WMGTST and that of IOTA21, and the interdisciplinary and collaborative nature of artists involved, is particularly relevant in a year of upheaval, triggering reflection on how we spend our time and with whom, our connections to Nature and the value of the creative arts.

Works in progress

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