Le Chéile Information

Helen Kavanagh

From 1994 – 1998 I worked towards a number of solo exhibitions in South Australia and Victoria. My subject matter was family life and motherhood. During this time I was commission as a master printer and was the Co-ordinator of the South Australian Print Workshop. Sadly the SAPW no longer operates. At the start I thought what have I GOT MYSELF INTO. The idea of working closely with other people on art work was strangely scary and exciting at the same time. I thought to myself “It’s not community artwork and it’s not strictly my own artwork” what is it? So the concept did not come easily to me.

Exploring methods of collaboration was a process in itself. Should we work on the one piece or work individually using each others ideas, we decided the latter.

When we got down to making the work I felt an obligation to use all the ideas presented by Veronica and Branwyn. Then resolved that these ideas were like a box of chocolates, you only take what you need.

The Gippsland bush fires started in my home town of Boolarra early February 2009. Veronica and I both grew up in Gippsland so we had a connection and understanding of the place.

Most of my images were completed with the bush fires in mind with the help of Branwyn’s criss cross representation of fire and Veronica’s winding road and vast hills were incorporated into my work.

The tragedy of the bush fires unravelled during our collaboration and is manifest most strongly in the book that Veronica and I made.