Julie Niekamp and Sarah Dingwall have been good friends since they met in 2004 working at a glassblowing studio in Merricks North known as The Studio. Sarah was working with Leisa Wharington (glassblower) whilst Julie worked painting in oils and making found object sculpture; both girls have an interest in old text and collage.
““Let’s have an exhibition” she said”, could have been one of Sarah’s many little printed messages, encapsulated in fragile glass. ““Let’s call it The Bower”, she said”… another great find in Sarah’s little box of word ‘treasures’ (Sarah makes ‘secret messages’ –slips of text on paper that are encapsulated in little tubes of glass).
Sarah has a knack of putting beautiful old world illustrations and paper together with text, boxing them up like ‘wonderkrammer’ as well as making tiny glass objects, more decoration for the bower. Meanwhile Julie might re-invent the shoe using miniature found objects and hand built filigree.
Julie is currently working on incorporating the bower bird and its extravagant mating ritual and the lives of Louis xvi and Marie Antoinette. Like the male bower bird, Louis also had an obsession…he spent hours making and perfecting elaborate locks. His other passion hunting kept him from his virgin bride Marie Antoinette who subsequently found herself over indulging in fashion, cakes and cards.
The male bowerbird tries to lure the female to his bower, a purpose built bachelor pad, designed only to attract and consummate the relationship if and when she decides ‘ he’s her man. She waits with bated breath; he goes on to play hard to get for a little while longer, ducking and weaving behind the surrounding undergrowth.
The act of mating itself is over in seconds, and then he’s back to the fluffing of pillows. Stunned, she takes a moment to reflect before shrugging her wings and flying away with a souvenir; content with life as a single mum she raises her chicks alone.
And so it goes on; collecting, consuming, overindulgence.