This text was written by artist Inari Kiuru for a public program event as part of the exhibition, Deep Material Energy II.

Eye, the beholder / Artist statement II

I acknowledge the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung people who are the traditional owners and custodians of the unceded lands and waterways of the area I live and work on, now known as Bulleke-Bek (Brunswick), and pay respect to their Elders past and present.

As a Finn, the habit of wandering in the forests, gathering seasonal edible harvest and small organic treasures, is in my blood. Now a migrant, living and working in a big city, I’ve realised I still approach my urban environment as if walking in nature. Local “foraging” for discarded small things on the pavements and laneways; photographing weather phenomena and following how gardens blossom and surfaces gradually rust, create a deeply craved connection with the natural world.

In addition, walking is a meditative, grounding practice. Moving at a human pace calms down the mind while allowing the whole body to sense through sounds, scents, touch and the rhythm of steps and stops, often bringing intuitive solutions to creative problems. This regular moving around builds an intimate relationship with my neighbourhood, fostering a sense of home; of belonging to the geographic area and to the local community.

Observing and documenting the same area over a long period of time also builds larger, foundational arcs of understanding: the reviewing of my collection of images, memories and found objects illuminates my own inner landscapes as an artist, revealing how I see and think, pointing a way forward. Understanding the inevitable change that time brings to everything is also a beautiful reminder of adaptation, acceptance and letting go; of surrendering to the whole, to what is.

Eye, the beholder body of work reflects the walking and gathering aspect of my practice by placing photographs, text and found debris side by side with handmade small objects, each component holding an equal place. Bringing these elements together for the first time within an installation, I’ve wanted to illuminate detail, colour and form beyond any classification; to point to how, by carefully inspecting what’s before us, an unexpected beauty of the most ordinary materials may begin to shine through, sparking new insights and connections. When we look carefully, beauty is everywhere.

*More images, words and works about Bulleke-Bek/Brunswick in my blog ‘ordinari observations’,

Deep Material Energy II is presented by Australian Design Centre and supported by Creative New Zealand and Toi Rauwhārangi College of Creative Arts, Massey University, Aotearoa, New Zealand.

Image top: Inari Kiuru in her studio, Photo: Shaun Tan

Inari Kiuru, Eye, the beholder - Slide 1, Conversation Event, DME II, 6 October, 2023 Image: Inari Kiuru

Inari Kiuru, Eye, the beholder - Slide 2, Conversation Event 6 October 2023 Image: Inari Kiuru

Inari Kiuru, Eye, the beholder - Slide 3, Conversation Event 6 October 2023 Image: Inari Kiuru