Will Happiness Find Me - Malia Wearn
Opening - 12:00 AM - Thursday, 2nd of February
Artist Talk - 6:00 PM
Running - 2 Feb 2012 - 18 Feb 2012
All of these sentences are something someone did or thought that they felt they should be ashamed of. None of these people were too ashamed not to tell someone else, be that the artist or the world via the Internet. Using the book 'I Love Dick' (1997) by Chris Kraus as a kind of stepping off point for emotional expression and personal involvement in art, Malia examines herself and those around her in a kind of secret swap or tell-all. In 'I Love Dick' writer/artist Chris Kraus re-examines the notion of vulnerability and openness in a completely unashamed way. Malia's work showcases these attributes in a way that reveals and hides those things we all share but don't talk about. In a sense all of the secrets are the artist's. It is not just that she has taken them on through the shared moment of secret telling; she has, but it is more than that. There is a universality to them all that can make them seem both possibly shocking and completely banal. Some of the events, thoughts or actions described actually are the artist's own, but the fact that she considers the rest of those that have not at this point occurred to her to be on a level of possibility for her future and past selves makes her identify with them and feel ownership of them also. In embracing the secret and the gossip aspect of this project, the artist also opened herself and her life up to the creation of secrets or adventure through the art process as did those whose secrets or stories were shared with her. By using lights and glow-in-the-dark thread, different feelings are conveyed within the work. The hidden and the displayed take on new meaning and the fleeting nature of seeing or truth is also apparent. The painstaking and generally feminine process of embroidery imbues fleeting confessions with a kind of importance that one might prefer they did not have. Due to the large amount of intimate time the artist spent with each part of the work a fondness for the ideas and sentences referenced was created, and ultimately a way of owning the secrets and responding to them in a completely different manner than is usual.
Malia Wearn is an Adelaide based artist working primarily in textiles and light based sculpture. She graduated from the University of South Australia in 2006 with a Bachelor of Visual Arts specialising in painting. Malia has recently exhibited in small group collective exhibitions at Adelaide's Paper String Plastic gallery and Format Project Space.