Patterns, behaviours, modes of existing and of seeing the world are often acquired from the family that surrounds us – a way of being that links us to the past, generating identity and providing a cultural barrier of distinction. However, new environments can alter these distinctions, where borders fragment, morph and shift, creating a redefined space. Inherited Borders translates to wire a traditional Norwegian embroidery technique called Hardanger. It reveals how defensiveness can be intertwined with invitation and allure, and heritage maintained through adaptation. Additionally, the work demonstrates the reality of cultural borders – barriers that can be both simultaneously permeable and impermeable, rigid and malleable. 

When growing up, Jeanette Stok was constantly surrounded by traditional crafts such as sewing and needlecraft. Consequently, she frequently references in her art practice many of the techniques she was introduced to as a child by her mother and grandmother. Jeanette’s professional background as a research scientist has also had a considerable influence on her art. She is particularly interested in how repetitive physical actions are an integral component of the everyday – the generation of knowledge, identity and heritage. Her arts practice employs a range of techniques and media that include drawing, printing, sculpture and video. She has had the opportunity to live in both the United States and the United Kingdom during her career as a scientist. She recently completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Queensland College of Art, Brisbane (2016).

Image: Inherited Borders (detail), 2017 Galvanised wire, wire mesh, Photo: Michelle Vine