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Exhibition: Regina Middleton, 'Discarded'

Opening
Saturday 11 November
01:00 PM - 03:00 PM
Exhibition Dates
09 November - 03 December
Sponsored by:

Regina Middleton's multidisciplinary arts practice incorporates both jewellery and assemblage. Based on Victoria's beautiful Surfcoast she has an intrinsic connection to the natural landscape and in particular, the ocean. The first step in Regina's art making process involves collecting plastic fragments that wash up along the shorelines. The abundance of material she finds is astounding and as such, incredibly sad. 

 

Discarded captures the beauty in these found objects, whilst imploring us to both acknowledge and act on the profound impact we humans have on the natural world. Regina works intuitively, the embellishments for each piece are informed by the shape, colour and texture of the detritus she has amassed. We have hung this exhibition to reflect the diversity of these artworks, there are lots of small moments of joy, preciousness and whimsy. 
 

 

ARTIST STATEMENT

"My practice begins with collecting along the high tide line, it is where I turn inward and lean into the calm the ocean brings, exploring with childlike wonder and excitement. It is my meditation, where my mind is most calm and stays within the present moment; I once sought shells, then holdfasts and now weathered plastic 'gems.' These beautiful objects anchor me to place and poignant moments in time, they allow me to seek balance and explore a desire to embellish and adorn. Yet there is a sadness to this practice. Our oceans are choking, our wildlife are suffering and we have microplastics in our cells. We have left an undeniable mark on our natural world and it is struggling to thrive under our disrespect and disconnection to it. But there is hope to be found, light, beauty, curiosity and connection. 

Discarded is largely created using marine debris from three main collection points; Discovery Bay Marine National Park on Gunditjmara Country; Painkalac Creek, the border of Gadubanud and Wadawurrung Country; Mudurup on Noongar Country, otherwise known as Cottesloe Beach. My family were lucky to camp near Discovery Bay in January 2022, after two years of covid lockdowns. Painkalac Creek is one of my most favourite collection points close to home. Whilst Murup was my sanctuary growing up and I finally returned to after four years in April 2023."

BIO
 

Regina Middleton is an Artist and Jeweller who resides and works on Wadawurrung Country along the coastal dunes of Torquay.

Regina holds a Bachelor of Arts - Jewellery Design, Curtin University and an Honours in Fine Art, Monash University. This new body of work, Discarded, began during covid lockdowns and has developed alongside the highs and lows of being the mother of two small energetic children.

Regina’s practice has evolved from a desire to adorn the body to seeking balance and flow within ‘sculptural assemblages.’ Weathered Plastic Gems/Marine Debris/Flotsam and Jetsam are her material of choice. Collected along the high tide line, Regina elevates these unique materials, treating each one as a beautiful gem, as you would a sapphire, diamond or ruby. The plastics are paired with Freshwater and Faux Pearls, also once loved but discarded into hopeful hands of another, to elevate their perceived value.

Inspired by the natural world, Regina’s work reflects spirit, colour, shape, form and texture, whilst exploring a balance between representative and imagined landscapes. Themes of femininity, consumption and grief are intertwined; with an intuitive pull towards embellishment and adornment these ‘jewels for a wall’ invite the viewer to pause, reflect and seek curiosity and connection.

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