untitled (Stret Street Sly Store)
This work takes the form of Pandanus mats, traditionally used for trade and as ceremonial gifts in Vanuatu, where they were made by local weavers. In a Western context, the mats lose their original monetary status. Harry is interested in how words are similarly subject to slippages of meaning as they circulate between contexts. This aspect of his practice has been partly informed by his nomadic experience of moving between cultures, including extensive time spent living in the Pacific. Harry has spoken of using language in his work as a way of leaving meaning unfixed. Along with the unexpected and nonsensical word plays seen here, he often uses slang and creole to similar effect.
gift mat Pandanus and dye
119.0 x 210.0 cm
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Contemporary Collection Benefactors 2019
Not on display
© Harry Newell
Shown in 4 exhibitions
Views from the couch, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Paddington, 24 May 2007–Unknown
News from Islands, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Campbelltown, 01 Sep 2007–28 Oct 2007
The Beauty of Distance: Songs of Survival in a Precarious Age. 17th Biennale of Sydney, Pier 2/3, Dawes Point, 2010–2010
Untitled (12th Istanbul Biennial), 17 Sep 2012–13 Nov 2012