Tamara Russell, Fractured World


A Fractured World – Fire, Drought and Ocean warming

Ecosystems are collapsing as a result of fire, drought and ocean warming caused by human activities which place corporate profits ahead of the natural world and traditional community structures. With the outbreak of COVID-19 bringing societies to an abrupt halt, we have had the chance to reconsider our lives and glimpse the efforts of the natural world to regain balance. This break provides the opportunity to consider our impact on the natural world and how we can build a future that not only rebuilds ecosystems but supports social, mental and financial wellbeing.

Throughout the epidemic, creative expression has provided powerful contributions to breaking down barriers and unleashing innovation. The arts have shown the way to reconnect, record experiences and create lasting social change.

These experiences are never forgotten but as seasons pass, lives will be slowly stitched back together with missing pieces remaining, be they people, property or possession.

The Covid-19 period has allowed me the time to reflect on my arts practice and create new work expressing my concerns around climate change and the current lack of action by governments. The pandemic has shown us that politicians can act in an emergency. My hope is that once this emergency is over, governments worldwide will be as proactive in tackling the changes required to support our planet.

Reclaimed ceramics, recycled eco-dyed silk and cotton fabric, handstitched.

Total display 17.5H x 41W x 41D cm

Tamara Russell

I am a Textile Artist specialising in free machine embroidery, hand stitching and mending. In my practice, I explore my surroundings and interpret what I see through the medium of embroidery.

My practice engages with the natural environment recreating the images and shapes in my embroidered works in both 2 and 3D form. My photos are the starting point as I explore my subject matter directly onto fabric, painting with thread. In my work I am able to portray my concerns around social issues including the environment, climate change and the treatment of asylum seekers in Australia. I find textiles to be a perfect medium for expressing my thoughts using both hand and machine stitching.

I have been making, altering and mending clothes since a teenager. Personalising my wardrobe with visible mending and embellishment. I design workshops to teach how to mend and revitalise clothing to try to stop them ending up in landfill. Repairing our clothes enables creativity and individuality whilst reducing impact on the environment. By mending our clothes, we create a bond with them ensuring we wear them longer.