Hong-Kong based artist Dr Tricia Flanagan makes the passing of time and its effects on our bodies visually accessible in a new exhibition, TIMEtopography, opening at Newcastle’s Timeless Textiles Gallery in July.

The exhibition explores the geography of the body and its tempo-spatial relationship to systems that surround it. Tricia has created textile-based systems in her works that archive life’s journey.

“I see my role as akin to that of a cartographer, creating tangible social objects that act as maps to help interpret our culture in motion,” she said. “I wanted to evoke moments of sleep, long walks and biological expressions of time through DNA.”

In the artwork BODYecology, for instance, the rhythms of sleep determine the depth of colour of a hand-spun merino lambs-wool thread, which is drawn at a constant rate across a portable dyeing machine. When the artist is sleeping soundly the thread dives deeply into the indigo dye bath, when lightly sleeping or stirring it is drawn through the shallows or skims the surface. In the day the resulting variegated coloured thread is woven into a blanket, a physical embodiment of the ontological experience of sleep.

TIMEtopography is built around four themes that inspire a search for ontological equilibrium, where time sleeping becomes productive, the expressive quality of walking is visually harnessed and generational time is reflected upon. Time is presented as an accumulation of stories captured in social objects and invested in material culture and practices.

Dr Tricia Flanagan has been exhibiting internationally since the mid 1990’s and is represented in private and public collections in Australia, Ireland, Germany, Canada, Italy, Japan and China. She is a multiple award winner and her work has included four CASP-funded Public Art commissions and a UGCTD Grant to develop PIPA. She was a representative for Oceania at the Tournai Contemporary Textiles Biennial Belgium, a recipient of the Australian Postgraduate Scholarship Award, winner of the Max Fabre Foundation Award for Environmental Awareness and CeMoRe Visiting Fellow at Lancaster University in 2015.

Tricia has completed a PhD in Public Art at the University of Newcastle and a Master’s of Visual Art at Bauhaus University Weimar. She established the Wearables Lab at the Academy of Visual Art at Hong Kong Baptist University in 2009 where she currently works as Assistant Professor.

TIMEtopography opens from 6-8 pm on July 16 and runs until16 August 2015.

String theory (and practice) workshop with Tricia Flanagan

String is a basic material structure that is capable of binding things together and is embedded into many things that surround us in our everyday lives. It is hard to imagine a world without string. Flanagan visualises string as the basic building block of our universe, one that represents an alternative to long-held beliefs in particle-based theories.

Her workshop teaches hands-on understanding of techniques to make string – exploring materials, properties and techniques in the first half of the workshop and introducing techniques to complete constructed material in the second half.

Dates: 3 days over two weeks, 18-19 July and 25 July 2015 (9.30 am – 4.30 pm)

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