2019 program pt 2

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with a steely resolve

with a steely resolve

Mandy Quadrio

Gallery 1
Opening 03.07.19 6-8pm
Artist Talks 25.07.19 6-7pm

Materials: steel wool, bull kelp, aluminium, velvet 

This exhibition, with a steely resolve, speaks to complex dialogues that reference historic and contemporary issues resulting from Australian colonialism. Abrasive steel wool, Tasmanian bull kelp and aluminium photographic plates are used to hold and weave narratives that speak to the intentional and legally sanctioned genocide that was perpetrated on palawa, Tasmanian Aboriginal, people. 

Quadrio uses harsh and abrasive steel wool to speak to attempts to ‘scrub out,’ to clean away and to annihilate palawa people. She takes the harsh materiality of steel wool to create sensuous forms that could perhaps be considered as artefacts or remnants suggestive of her material culture. 

The inclusion of the natural material of bull kelp that is gathered from her country, contrasts with the western manufactured materiality of coarse steel wool. The potency of the bull kelp, part of her living material culture, firmly anchors her practice. 

Scratched and eroded images on mirror substrate are projected onto incised, aluminium plates. As gestures of erasure, these ambiguous, scratched surfaces add to the dialogue between presence and absence. 

No longer contained by ethno-museology, this work steps out of the containment of the archival vitrine to celebrate and to strengthen her sense of palawa identity and her socio-political presence and place. 


As a palawa, Tasmanian Aboriginal, woman with strong connections to her ancestral countries of tebrakunna, Coastal Plains Nation, in the north-east of Tasmania and to the Oyster Bay Nation, Mandy Quadrio’s art practice seeks to generate political and social dialogues against a background of contested Australian histories. 

Working across sculpture, installation, photography and mixed media, Quadrio works to illuminate Indigenous histories through close attention to material cultures, practices and aesthetic traditions of palawa people. Her work addresses denied and repressed Australian historical encounters to assert contemporary Indigenous experience. 

Being solidly grounded in her identity through her relationship to country, Quadrio celebrates her sovereignty as a proud palawa woman. In 2017 she completed an Honours degree in Fine Arts, Griffith University and is currently undertaking a Doctorate of Visual Arts (DVA) at Queensland College of Arts, Griffith University. 

The artist wishes to thank SIFA for their generous donation of steel wool.


Mandy Quadrio, Nest, 2018 , Steel wool, bull kelp  Photographer: Carl Warner

Mandy Quadrio, siblings, 2018 , Steel wool, bull kelp  Photographer: Carl Warner 

Mandy Quadrio, warkerlenner, 2018 , Steel wool, bull kelp  Photographer: Carl Warner 

Mandy Quadrio, to hold the memory of them 2,  2018 , Steel wool, bull kelp, river reed,  Photographer: Carl Warner 

Mandy Quadrio, mathinna,  2018 , Steel wool, bull kelp  Photographer: Carl Warner 

Mandy Quadrio, to hold the memory of them 1,   2018 , Steel wool, bull kelp, wire  Photographer: Carl Warner