Hey, I have something to say: Midsumma 2022
28 January 2022 - 6 March 2022
Curator: Tegan Iversen
Artist(s): Chelsea Arnott, Savi Ross, and Batoul Ahmad
Location: Boadle Hall
Hey, I have something to say is a group exhibition for Midsumma Festival, curated by Tegan Iversen, and featuring the work of emerging artists Batoul Ahmad, Savi Ross and Chelsea Arnott.
Informed by the artists’ unique perspectives on self, culture and identity; gender and queerness; and the power of connection in community, the exhibition includes works in painting, illustration, photography, and design. Hey, I have something to say highlights the importance of self-reflection and discovery in the life and journey of the artist through playful and intimate works of art.
When: Sunday 6th March, 1pm - 3pm
Inspired by Chelsea Arnott's ethos of art-making for everyone, in this workshop you will be encouraged to loosen up, relax, and work at your own pace as you explore the vast possibilities of making using text, paint, and found materials to create experimental new works on canvas.
Using Chelsea’s processes of generative writing and abstraction, participants will be supported to engage in text, painting, and collaging exercises to create their work in a safe and non-judgmental environment.
This workshop is suited to participants of all ages and abilities and can be tailored to children 12 years and up, teens, or adults. Basic materials will be provided, including paints and canvas panels.
Artist Statements (Audio) via QR code:
Tegan Iversen is an Essendon-based artist, illustrator, and curator. Her practice and curatorial work is inspired by ideas of community, play, self-identity, honesty, colour, and fun. She currently co-runs Gems, a collective that provides arts opportunities for women and non-binary creatives.
Batoul Ahmad is an emerging artist from Syria, now based in Naarm/Melbourne. Her work is driven by an interest in the concepts of identity, exile, conflict, the unconscious mind, and its influence on surrealism, poetry, feminism, and mental health.
“Sometimes the alphabet betrays us, leaving us behind, on the edge of an expression, with shadows of unrecognisable words. Our experience of the world is reflected by the way we express it, and if words ever suffocate us, we do art.
My work explores the link between self-discovery and expression. The conceptual meaning of my work is mainly driven from questions around adulting and the struggles we face in our early twenties. The constant change in beliefs and thoughts that somehow will harness our pieces of ‘self’ and ‘others’.
These photographs represent feelings and emotions provoked from experiences of solitude, self-discovery, and questions around identity, time, mistakes, darkness, and the importance of the chances that art gives us to express ourselves.”
Savi Ross is an African-American, Torres Strait Islander artist based in Narrm/Melbourne. Much of Savi’s work celebrates the many identities of queer women and non-binary people; their work shows women and non-binary people loving themselves, each other, and celebrating their bodies.
“My name is Savi Ross and I illustrated Come On In. Like many, the need for community has been on my mind lately. Since moving to Naarm Melbourne in 2014 I have really longed for a community that I feel a sense of belonging in. Recent years have made these feelings even stronger; living through lockdowns in Melbourne meant I was away from my family for long periods of time, lost touch with friends, and became hesitant to leave my home.
I thought about many of these big feelings while creating Come On In. Though communities come in many different forms and create space for aid and joy in many different ways, I found myself thinking about the roles of protest, the distribution of resources, and the importance of continued learning in communities. Each of these parts of a community are represented here; three people near the top carry various resources to be distributed, three people in the centre paint banners together, and the three people below them chat together about important books I found myself reading over the past year or so.
There is joy here in bright colours and friendship, and there is equally an urgent need to learn together and support one another as we try to move forward.”
Chelsea Arnott is a 25-year-old visual artist and writer living in Naarm/Melbourne. Chelsea is interested in the performance of self; in its slipperiness, its fragmentation, its sincerity, and its failure.
“Maybe it’s the long-term effects of lockdown, not having too much else to keep me company, but I’ve been thinking a lot about my younger self. What I would say to her if could? What she would say back? My newest body of work is reflecting on these imaginary conversations, snippets of advice, Both things can be true. Memories she has yet to live, I miss everyone I’ve ever met. Aesthetically, the works are also harking back to teenage scribbles, grids and continuous lines absentmindedly drawn in classrooms.”