Meet Your Maker:
The natural world has always been central to the work of Kangaroo Island-based artist Lara Tilbrook. As her home recovers from the devastation of Black Summer bushfires, Tilbrook’s interest in threatened species is all the more necessary.
Tilbrook’s forthcoming solo exhibition, Duty of Care, is an urgent call for the preservation, protection and propagation of Australia’s natural heritage. A new line of jewellery and wearable art recasts the seeds and leaves of the manna gum in recycled gold. Tilbrook says the alchemical process “heightens the value and perceived worth of our fragile ecologies “. Alongside handcrafted sculptures, needlework and illustration, the exhibition will also feature a feral cat –pelt carpet.
“Feral cat predation is a major threat to endemic wildlife on Kangaroo Island. Working with these skins is not something I thought I would ever do but it is important to tell my story, to create discussion and education around these conservation issues. It is my duty to care.”
Since the fires, Tilbrook and her family have cleared the debris and begun replanting. She says, however, they are not simply going to rebuild. There is opportunity for another alchemical process to take hold : “Now is the time to rethink the way we are living. “
Lara Tilbrook: Duty of Care
Opens 7 November
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