Meg Viney

A collection of works and musings from an artist.


This article was written on 07 Feb 2012, and is filled under Uncategorized.

Vessels for Containment

I was invited by Latrobe Regional Gallery to have an exhibition of Vessels, some borrowed from collections and some new works.  

I was delighted because the form of the Vessel has been revisited throughout my practise. Indeed it was pine needle baskets that were my first works, and I still love the rhythmic stitching and the flowing line formed by the stitches on the surface of the basket.  

However, whilst a basket is a vessel, and a container, people also have the capacity to contain one another. Although this is physically accurate, (the mother contains the baby in utero), it is of more interest to me to view this as emotional and spiritual containment (once born, the mother ‘contains’ the baby until he/she is secure enough to move beyond her). The work of D. W. Winnicott, English Pediatrician and Psychiatrist The Child, the Family and the Outside World, Penguin Books, 1957, centres around this concept.

For me the essential nature of the Vessel is female.

And the tiny Shamans’ mouths are shaped to blow healing breath on a tribal member, so they contain healing, although they look like containers of mirth.

At the opening, Maria Luisa Marino, the curator, said these words:
“Meg Viney is an admired and respected local artist. She has worked consistently over the years and has exhibited locally on many occasions, in the metropolitan area and overseas. She has lived and studied in America, completing a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the San Francisco University where her passion for fibre sculpture came to fruition.  Meg’s passion for natural materials is inspired by the Native Americans’ respect for nature.   She was so moved by the spirituality of these people, who consider all things equal and believe all things have a spirit, that, upon her return to Australia, she experienced a renewed appreciation of her local environment. She began to look at natural fibres and experimented with their flexibility to create form. Plant fibres, grasses, branches, felt and feathers are just some of the materials that inform her practice. Her work enlivens our senses through the aroma and tactility of her materials and draws us closer to the earth.”



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