29 September – 10 October 2021
Virtual launch: Wednesday 29th September, 6pm onwards
Catalogue & Price List: View PDF Catalogue (4 Mb)
Saint Cloche is very pleased to welcome contemporary printmaker and mixed media artist from southern Sydney, Dior Mahnken to the gallery with her new show, ‘Big Sky’. These new works are transmuted feelings and inspirations from nature on gauzy, gossamer papers – close to the surface, hard to hide, filmy, atmospheric and refined.
Dior’s practice is a contemporary exploration and sculptural treatment of paper, wire, and threadwork, sometimes integrated with repurposed found objects that have an intuitive link to elements of her work. Delicately stitched, puckered, gathered and arranged together and yet so subtly undone and laid bare, with aching vulnerability.
Sheets of printed tissue paper, cut or torn and crushed before placing through the printing press to colour with oil-based ink. Dior creates subtle variations in colour and texture by printing the same plate several times, releasing less and less ink each time. The printed sheets of tissue are transformed into a fabric-like finish that is surprisingly robust to work with, despite its frail appearance. Copious amounts of tissue are printed in various sizes and colour and so many beautiful lofty piles begin to emerge. These are then stitched together by hand in various ways to bring movement, form and texture.
My studio is a playful and meditative space. I have a window to the sky.
An uncluttered view, an ever-changing source of beauty, colour, texture, subtlety, drama and inspiration.
These works have the transient diaphanous movement of the atmosphere reflected from the land and beyond.
I am drawn to the tactile, I love a ragged edge, a loose, dangling thread.
I know you will want to touch.
~ Dior Mahnken
About Dior Mahnken
Dior’s creative journey began from a young age with fabric and designing her own clothes. She comes from a long line of dressmakers. Busy with her life’s journey, it was only when her children started school that she reignited her creative passion and spent a couple of years refining her practice in mixed media and then printmaking. Printmaking is a very precise and controlled skill and Dior very quickly found herself pushing the boundaries with this art form. In many ways Dior feels has come full circle and back to her sewing roots, only with paper now rather than fabric.
Dior’s studio is an inspiring, light -filled, serene space filled with collected treasure. The studio walls are a continually evolving with colour and texture, and with her printing press central to the space. Printing is vigorous and robust physical work from rolling out ink to winding the press. Dior’s dog and cat visit her studio often to check on her progress. She likes to listen to music and the radio and particularly tune into Conversations on ABC radio while she works.
Dior has had several solo shows and taken part in many group shows over the years. She was the recipient of the ‘Happiness Award’ in the Little Things Art Prize in 2020. Most recently, Dior’s work ‘Leaf Litter’ inspired by the bush and the way leaves fall to make such a beautiful carpet for us to walk on was selected as a finalist in the National Capital Art Prize 2021. In her work, Dior encourages the audience to touch, to feel the texture and movement of the vaporous layers of colour.