The way Eveline Kotai welcomes you to her unique exhibit, Breathing Pattern, is amazingly tongue-in-cheek and instantly gives you a sense of ease. There is one piece on display in the main lobby with a small plaque next to it. The quote on that plaque both makes you laugh at yourself and feel far more at ease about going to see an art exhibition. Without ruining the surprise, you’re bound to enjoy the irony.
This is an interesting exhibit because it’s not simply an artist’s creation of work, but an artist’s re-creation of work. Breathing Pattern is a collection from Perth artist Eveline Kotai, in which she takes her own pre-existing works, cuts them into thin strips and creates entirely new pieces for the viewer to ponder.
The exhibit is small in size and you could easily do a lap of the space within a few minutes. But, taking the time to look closer reveals the amazingly meticulous stitching that has gone into creating these works. One can’t help but picture hours of running material through a machine, line by line. There must be something cathartic in destroying your own work to create more.
A lot of the pieces evoked sandstone or tree rings, with uniform but organic layers creating patterns, strip by strip. One main piece stood apart from the others because you could tell the source material had been words, now rearranged into strange, almost familiar shapes and patterns, not quite legible. It was almost mesmerising, trying to decipher what may or may never have actually been written on those original canvases.
It may not be for everyone, but it’s worth popping into the Art Gallery of WA if you’re around the cultural centre this summer. Enjoy taking your time to wander around this beautiful work curated by Dunja Rmandić, and breathe.