Concerned with the environmental impacts of the textile industry, Rachael Wellisch uses household textile waste and indigo dye to create handmade paper sculptures. Old clothes and bedsheets are dyed in seven shades of natural indigo before being slowly pulped and transformed into the paper. She then meticulously stacks into tall arch-framed forms. “The four hand-woven tomes,” says judge Jerico Tracy, “are as poetic as they are beautiful. Reminiscent of the ebb and flow of the ocean these works created from salvaged textile waste offer an important comment on the relationship between textile consumption and waste.” While we may gaze into these ocean-like vistas and be reminded of the summer sun sparkling on the water’s surface, there is a more ominous and sobering subtext behind their conception.
The work: Rachael Wellisch, Tomes #13, #14, #15 & #16, 2020. Hand-made paper, from indigo-dyed salvaged textiles, 37 x 112cm each. Courtesy: the artist.