“(Nothing But) Flowers is a new body of work exploring the possibilities of felt as a medium. The title comes from a Talking Heads song, which postulates a future society that has reverted to a natural state, devoid of modern conveniences. The song followed me around all summer – on the radio, a surprise shuffle coming through my headphones, a niggling ear worm. At the same time I was considering new giant needle felted forms and how they might look in a later stage of evolution, returned to the earth or melting into the scenery around them – in a world akin to that which David Byrne hypothesises in the song.
(Nothing But) Flowers, much like the song it is named after, imagines a post-urban world, told through my abstracted characters – the faces of which could be construed as peaceful, or melancholy – depending on how you might enjoy this version of the future.
Felting is an ancient technique and utilises only basic tools and materials. These new large-scale pieces are made entirely by hand using unspun wool and techniques of wet and dry felting that draw on the fundamental elements of moisture, friction and heat. The process of making is a simplistic yet strenuous and time consuming one, and correlates with the exploration of a world without mod-cons and technological advances. While some of the subjects are universally recognisable from a world gone before (the plate of breakfast, the flower from a domestic garden), some have morphed beyond recognition – just amorphous shapes and blobs. The felt is laid over bases created from recycled packing foam, a remnant of an over-packaged world left behind.”
There was a shopping mall / Now it’s all covered with flowers / You’ve got it, you’ve got it
– David Byrne, (Nothing But) Flowers (1988)
Cat Rabbit is a Melbourne based textile artist and designer. Her practice centres around plush sculptural works of her own imagined characters and the worlds they might live in. Cat works predominantly with the medium of felt, with her practice often extending to quilting, embroidery, illustration and design. Cat also make books for children and other fantastical artworks with her collaborator Isobel Knowles under the name Soft Stories. Cat has worked and collaborated with clients such as NGV, Soludos, Lunch Lady Magazine, Frankie Magazine, Odd Pears and Bakedown Cakery, and has work in permanent collections at Loreto Mandeville Junior Library and Melbourne Girls Grammar School.
(Nothing But) Flowers runs until September 9. To see the exhibition listing click here.