When I was a child, my mother and her friends would sit and sew while painting their nails, smoking and talking. There were no patterns, things were just made. There was very little money so the women were resourceful: a curtain one day became a ball gown the next weekend. There was no stopping their ingenuity.
Victoria Nadas’ compositions in needlework, collage, paint and textiles are the result of learning to combine a European heritage with an Australian present. Cultural collisions are sensually and courageously traced used red thread, the expression of bloodlines in Hungarian culture. Sepia-stained photographs from old family albums are ghosted across tissue and organza, the softness of the materials highlighting the fragility of the image.
As Nadas reveals, her practice is motivated by a desire to ‘bring into relief the accidental nature of inheritance and roots, and to offer a vision of that which is beyond geography and deeper than history. Mapping my own personal history, I invite the viewer to reflect on his or her own past, re-discovering the trails we leave behind.’
Victoria Nadas is a Melbourne-based visual artist. The works in this exhibition were produced during a residency at Caris Christi Hospice, St Vincent’s Hospital, in 2010.