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NALDA SEARLES (article first published : 1999-06-15)

Renowned Western Australian fibre and textile artist Nalda Searles has taken up a three-month residence at the BAT Centre. Hailing from Fremantle, she has been selected for the first residency in a visual arts exchange programme between the Artists Foundation of Western Australia and BAT.

The exchange programme was the brainchild of Christina McGuinness, a highly-respected curator and administrator in arts development in Western Australia. On meeting BAT Centre’s Marisa FickJordan, Christina McGuinness proposed to mount an exhibition of metal and wire work created by KZN artists in Fremantle in 2000 and she influenced Arts WA to provide funding assistance to this exciting proposal.

Nalda, whose work is included in major Australian collections, has focused her activities on fibre materials since 1979. She has had much experience teaching and talking about her work and has run textile bush camps. In 1991, she obtained a Bachelor of Fine Art (painting) from Curtin University and went on to become involved with the Wongutha people in Kalgoorlie through a street arts project.

During her residency at BAT, Nalda Searle plans to meet regional artists and run workshops. However, her main priority will be to collect information and documentation through drawing, painting, photography, writing and gathering sample works with a view to developing a work based on her research in the rural areas.

Nalda Searle will be available by appointment to talk to visitors two afternoons per week. She has a fascinating slide show of her work with Aboriginal artists which lasts about 60 minutes. To book an appointment phone Njabulo Hlongwane on 332-0451.


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